I've already talked quite a bit about Sinterklaas on here, but there's even more to tell... I hope you don't mind ;)
Sinterklaas is a very old Dutch tradition that is fortunately still very much alive in Holland... and old traditions are something to cherish, right?!
On Saturday the good man arrived in our hometown and yesterday we celebrated Sinterklaas at my work. In between the children were allowed to set their shoes as I told yesterday. It was one big Sinterklaas celebration!
When Sinterklaas and all his helpers (Zwarte Pieten) arrived in our town on Saturday he was greeted by many excited children (and parents). Everyone was singing and cheering and all the children were hoping for a handful of pepernoten. Amber was lucky enough to get some.
The Zwarte Pieten (Black Petes) are Sinterklaas' helpers. They are black because they climb in and out of chimneys at night to put presents in all the children's shoes. They carry with them big bags filled with pepernoten which they scatter around them.
Sinterklaas has a white horse called Amerigo. At night Sinterklaas rides his horse on the roofs of the houses to distribute all the presents... no mean feat for such an old gentleman!
The reason why he hands out all these presents is that he celebrates his birthday on December 5th. That's the day that we call Pakjesavond (presents' evening) in Dutch. This year we'll be celebrating with Michel's family. For the adults we buy a couple of small presents and play a game, for the children we buy some presents for them to unpack. It'll be fun... it always is.
This last photo was taken at my work yesterday... spot the 7 differences with the other photos ;)
Read all about the Sinterklaas traditions here on Wikipedia.