For the people that live in Belgium and Holland it’s a normal holiday but a lot of people never heard about it, do you know what I am talking about? Sinterklaas of course! Next to Belgium and Holland this holiday is also celebrated in Germany and in parts of France. It sounds a bit like Santa claus (which I think everybody knows or at least heard about) and they also have a lot of similarities apart from the name.
Sinterklaas in short is about a man that brings presents to the children that behaved well throughout the year. Together with his helpers called ‘’Zwarte Pieten’’ he visits all the houses of the children that behaved well the past year. They enter a house via the chimney or they knock on the door and leave the presents at the door. Of course you never see them at night, but the presents are there! Children sing songs about Sinterklaas and he also has a parade in a lot of cities and villages. According to the story Sinterklaas comes from and lives in Spain. He arrives on a big boat with all his helpers. The ‘’Zwarte pieten’’ hand out candy called ‘’Pepernoten’’ which are very very good.
Just like Santa claus, Sinterklaas is dressed in red, has a beard and a mustache. He also has helpers and you never spot them at night. They both give presents to children that behaved well. Sinterklaas is at the 5th of December, but starts earlier when he enters the country, mostly in the end of november. Children place their shoes at the door before they go to sleep and in the morning there is some candy or a little present. Of course parents and grown ups are the ones that arrange everything but just as with Santa claus little children till about the age of 12 really believe in the existence of the man. After that parents tell their children about the big secret or they found out themselves.
But don’t they have Santa claus in these countries as well? Yes they do. They celebrate both of the holidays but the people don’t have the big secret and story about Santa claus. Children know very early that he doesn’t exist but they celebrate it anyway. So for them there are two holidays right after each other and therefore that part of the year is very popular and fun.
Of course they don’t know about Sinterklaas in Spain. They celebrate Santa claus and christmas but they never heard about the Sinterklaas story. Buy luckily for us, there are working more dutch people than any other nationality here at Andalucia Tours and Discovery. Therefore we also celebrate it with our company. Spanish people, Dutch people and of course their children and partners. The Spanish people don’t really get the holiday but they like it anyway. It’s a nice party with presents, good food and drinks so therefore they are just going to celebrate it with us!