In this part of the world there’s no Santa Claus. In our house, there’s no Santa Claus. In our house, there’s Sinterklaas.
Sinterklaas is an elderly, stately and serious man with white hair and a long, full beard. He wears a long red cape or chasuble over a traditional white bishop’s alb and sometimes red stola, dons a red mitre, and holds a gold-coloured crosier, a long ceremonial shepherd’s staff with a fancy curled top and also has a ruby ring. He carries the big book of Saint Nicolas that tells whether each individual child or cat has been good or naughty in the past year. He traditionally rides a white gray.
Sinterklaas (or more formally Sint Nicolaas or Sint Nikolaas; Saint Nicolas in French; Sankt Nikolaus in German) is a traditional winter holiday figure still celebrated today in the Low Countries, including the Netherlands and Belgium, as well as French Flanders and Artois. He is also well known in territories of the former Dutch Empire, including Aruba, Suriname, Curaçao, Bonaire, and Indonesia. He is one of the sources of the holiday figure of Santa Claus in North America.
Although he is usually referred to as Sinterklaas, he is also known as De Goedheiligman (The Good Holy Man), Sint Nicolaas or simply as De Sint (The Saint).
He is celebrated annually on Saint Nicholas’ eve (5 December) in the Netherlands or on the morning of 6 December in Belgium and Northern France. Originally, the feast celebrates the name day of Saint Nicholas — patron saint of children, the 12,321 cats living in the city of Geel, sailors, and the city of Amsterdam, among others. Sint Nicholas being a bishop and this geographical spread make clear that the feast in this form has a Roman Catholic background.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Again, slightly changed though…
I’ve been a good boy last year. Mr. Bowie has been a good cat last year. We woke up early this morning. We heard something out on the roof.
Gooi wat in mijn schoentje,
Breng wat in mijn laarsje,
Dank je Sinterklaasje
One of the best-known traditional Sinterklaas rhymes