vrijdag 11 november 2011

So excited / Hij komt..hij komt

Hi, it is my favorite time of the year again!!
Yes it is nearly Sinterklaastime, he will be arriving tomorrow!!

Sinterklaas (or more formally Sint Nicolaas or Sint Nikolaas; Saint Nicolas in French) is a traditional Winter holiday figure still celebrated today in the Low Countries, including the Netherlands and Belgium, as well as French Flanders (Lille) and Artois (Arras). He is also well known in territories of the former Dutch Empire, including South Africa, Aruba, Suriname, CuraƧao, Bonaire, and Indonesia. He is one of the sources of the holiday figure of Santa Claus in North America.

The arrival of Sinterklaas into town became a huge event and is broadcasted on national television. Zwarte Pieten their faces were blackened to indicate that Zwarte Piet was an imported African servant of Sinterklaas (though some people said Zwarte Piet was a slave who, when Sinterklaas bought him his freedom, was so grateful that he stayed to assist him). Today however, the more politically correct explanation that Pete's face is "black from soot" (as Pete has to climb through chimneys to deliver his gifts) is used.

In the Netherlands, Saint Nicholas' Eve (5 December) became the chief occasion for gift-giving during the Christmas season. The evening is called "Sinterklaasavond" or "Pakjesavond" ("presents evening"). In the Netherlands, most children receive their presents on this evening.

Traditionally, in the weeks between his arrival and 5 December, before going to bed, children put their shoes next to the fireplace chimney of the coal-fired stove or fireplace. In modern times, they may put them next to the central heating unit. They leave the shoe with a carrot or some hay in it and a bowl of water nearby "for Sinterklaas' horse", and the children sing a Sinterklaas song. The next day they will find some candy or a small present in their shoes.

Typical Sinterklaas treats traditionally include: hot chocolate, mandarin oranges, pepernoten, letter-shaped pastry filled with almond paste or chocolate letter (the first letter of the child's name made out of chocolate), speculaas (sometimes filled with almond paste), chocolate coins and marzipan figures. Newer treats include kruidnoten (a type of shortcrust biscuit or gingerbread biscuits) and a figurine of Sinterklaas made of chocolate and wrapped in colored aluminum foil.

Poems can still accompany bigger gifts as well. Instead of such gifts being brought by Sinterklaas, family members may draw names for an event comparable to Secret Santa. Gifts are to be creatively disguised (for which the Dutch use the French word "surprise"), and are usually accompanied by a humorous poem which often teases the recipient for well-known bad habits or other character deficiencies.

1 opmerking:

  1. Ojh Jannie it sounds like such a magical time. Happy Sinterklaastime to you and your family!