Story of Sinterklaas

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Sinterklaas Saint Nicholas (later known as Sinterklaas) lived from 271 to December 6, 342 A.D. in Myra, Asia Minor. He became the patron saint of fishermen and as a priest, was known for good deeds all through the Mediterranean area. He is the patron saint of Amsterdam. As Dutch trade grew, so grew the tradition of Sinterklaas.

Sinterklaas arrives by boat from Spain and rides through the streets on a white horse. He is accompanied by his Moorish servant, Piet, and many helpers. Sinterklaas rides over roof tops listening at chimneys to check children’s behavior. Wooden shoes are left by the fireplace with carrots or hay for the horse. Piet exchanges the carrots and hay for a small gift or candy.

Sinterklaas Eve, December 5, and Sinterklaas Day, December 6, are days of festivity and merriment. Sinterklaas parties consist of jokes, rhymes, simple gifts camouflaged in strange wrappings and lots of festive fun and laughter. Traditional spice cookies, hot chocolate, apple fritters and Dutch donuts are served. Chocolate letters are special Sinterklaas Day treats.


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