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.

Saint Nico

Sinterklaas, kapoentje
Gooi wat in mijn schoentje,
Breng wat in mijn laarsje,
Dank je Sinterklaasje

One of the best-known traditional Sinterklaas rhymes

47 responses

  1. Harry and I (and Cole) will be celebrating tomorrow (Thursday) morning. I know I’ve been good, so Krampus will be passing by our flat.

  2. Thanks for explaining to us across the pond. It’s good he came to see both of you. Looks like good stuff that he brought you! Does Bowie eat some of his, or will you have to help him a lot with that?

  3. Sinterklaas, Oh Sinterklaas
    Weet je waar ik woon?
    Gelieve niet te verdwalen
    Met de cadeautjes die je geeft.

    (hope it rhymes in Dutch too)

    Sinterklaas, Oh Sinterklaas
    Do you know where I live?
    Please don’t get lost
    With the presents you give.

    Happy Sinterklaas Herman & Bowie!

  4. Aww, what lovely chocolate figures! I hope they are delicious treats.

    Be good for the coming year, Mr. Bowie, Sinterklaas will be back again. 🙂

    Dag Sinterklaasje, dag, dag. Luister naar ons afscheidslied.

  5. It would appear that Sinterklaas knew you boys had been oh so very good this past year…chocolate is the best reward for good behavior! Enjoy………and celebrate well!


  6. What a beautiful photo of Mr. Bowie and the chocolate treats! I’ve celebrated Sinterklaas a few times in my life as a child and remember having a lot of fun with gifts and poetry. Happy Sinterklaas to you and Mr. Bowie!

  7. Mr. Bowie looks more like our American Santa Claus! We hope you had a sweet “Swieto Mikolaj”–half of my family is Polish, the Ukrainian half will celebrate later.

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