Last Sunday loud Sinterklaas music made me look out of my window.... and who was coming by? My street was so honored of having Saint Nicolas or Sinterklaas, the good holy man coming by. I did not expect him before tonight when he will visit all children at night to bring them presents. But there he was on his horse and with some Zwarte Pieten, "Black Piet's".
Sinterklaas or Saint Nicolas is a catholic saint (hence the clothes, ring and staff), a former bishop in Turkey in one of the first centuries who has now dedicate the rest of his eternal life to bring joy in the life of children. On his holiday (December 6th) he brings all children that have been good presents. For this he comes back from Spain where he currently lives, with a steamship that carries him, his Black Piet's who help him and his good old horse.
Tonight all children will put a shoe at the fireplace with some carrots or sugar for the horse ( ok mainly in Belgium, The Netherlands, part of France, part of the Netherlands and some other parts in the world). Tonight Sinterklaas will ride his horse faithfully on all roofs and come down the chimneys with Zwarte Piet to bring us toys. The toys are in big bags that Zwarte Piet carries and puts bad children in the bag to be taken to Spain. He has been doing this since the 12th century. Remarkably that Santa Claus started to come in New York first where a concentration of Dutch merchants lived huh. They much be relatives since they carry a similar name ;) and they share some chimney techniques .
Ah of course we wouldn't be belgians if we didn't make a lot of Chocolate sinterklaases for this big celebration. And Sinterklaas horse breads (in the shape of a horse carrying sinterklaas)