Tuesday, December 06, 2011

An advent calendar of sorts. Day 6

Today is St Nicholas Day - and as you all probably know, he's the one who gave his name to Santa Claus. In the Netherlands he's known as Sinterklaas, and he'll be arriving in towns and villages all over Holland today with his assistant Swarte Piet (Black Peter - who is that colour from climbing up and down chimneys!).

He usually arrives by boat, surrounded by heaps of presents. He's dressed like a bishop, with a mitre hat and a golden staff, and he carries a book in which are written, in gold, the names of all the children who've been good.  Piet throws sweets to children in the crowd, but anyone whose name is missing from the list is likely to be whipped with a bundle of sticks.

That night Sinterklaas will visit everyone's home and throw presents down the chimney. They will land (magically) into children's shoes, which have been left out to receive them. If any child has been naughty, but managed to escape the switch of twigs, they are more likely to find a raw potato in their shoes!

Unlike Santa Claus, Sinterklaas lives in Spain.


Jarmara Falconer said...

I love learning something new everyday, AJ. So thank you for sharing this with us.

Poohtle said...

What a lovely post, thanks for sharing, I'll be popping back daily to see what other delights you share :)