Ramblings of a modern druidess

Yesterday was the fifth of December and here in Holland that means we’re celebrating ‘Sinterklaas’. No, not Santa Claus, Sinterklaas, but I understand the confusion. This is also an old man dressed in red, gold and white, but instead of reindeer he has helpers that go by the name of ‘Piet’. Sinterklaas has a small army of Pieten to make sure all children recieve their presents on time. There is something required of the children though, these presents don’t come free of charge, oh no! You have to be a good little girl or boy for a whole year, sing your lungs out to please both Piet and Sinterklaas and stuff all your shoes with sugercubes, carrots and apples for Sinterklaas’ horse, it’s hard work you know!

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Sinterklaas is actually a bishop who has a great love for children and fills their heart with candy and gifts on this special day.

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Even grown-ups enjoy the feast of Sinterklaas. Sometimes, they too recieve gifts from Sinterklaas and if not, they buy presents for each other.

Another great tradition is the writing of poetry. Every gift has to be accompanied by a poem. One that reflects on either the gift or the life of the person recieving the gift. A lot of people also recieve complete ‘surprises’. For example, when your gift is a cd with harp music, you’d make a big harp out of clay or paper mache or cardboard to hide the cd in and leave clues in the poem so the reciever can guess what’s inside. Also, grown-ups are allowed to mention all the embarrasing moments someone went through in that year, all in good humor of course, but with Sinterklaas you can be assured someone will have dug up some dirt about your perfect life 😉

I love this feast and its traditions, we don’t have too many traditions left here, so I think it’s important to cherish the ones we still have.

Have a safe trip back home Sinterklaas and Happy Birthday!

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Until next week peeps and yes, on a Wednesday. Although you never know, it might also be a Thursday 😉

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4 thoughts on “Ramblings of a modern druidess

  1. Nico Vermaas says:

    In our (dutch) household we indeed celebrate Sinterklaas. Not quite as you describe it, but close. But we are also bending it slightly into its more ancient origins of Wodan and the Wild Hunt. So that it was on a wednesday was very appropriate this year!
    It is an interesting feast, in this time of our multi-cultural society and where children are regarded as innocent souls who need to be protected from everything in life.The black guys usually stir up some dust with black people for some reason (people with long white beards never seem offended though) and the imagery of children getting a beating or punishment usually stirs up some dust with the overly sensitive types.
    Interesting discussions, and good to have some reality checks from time to time. In this case I am for tradition, I don’t mind if the brats get slapped around by scary black guys once a year. ;-).

  2. Ronald Lacey says:

    nice story about a dutch tradition. very thoughtful of you not to put any politics in it. second the part about the embarrasing poems you sometimes get. ; )

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