Sinterklaas kapoentje, gooi wat in mijn schoentje…

Sinterklaas is jarig!
Having lived in the Netherlands for 12 years, I have become more than accustomed to the celebration of Sinterklaas’ birthday. I am aware that in Belgium it is actually celebrated on the 6th of December however, I have grown up to know that pakjesavond is on the 5th of December and do not wish to change that – ever.

Despite that I am 16, I am childish enough to get ecstatic about it all!
Present in my shoe tomorrow morning, should be great!!!

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Sinterklaas, many simply summarize it as ‘Dutch Christmas’. The story is actually a huge contribution to the reason why Santa Claus has become a traditional figure over they years. To be brief, Saint Nicholas was a very kind man who was born in modern day Turkey (near the city of Antalya) centuries ago. He was especially known to be very kind and giving to children. After his death he was honoured every year on his birthday. It became a tradition to celebrate his birthday by giving children gifts. This tradition was widely spread and celebrated in most of Europe. As the years passed, the festivities lost their zeal and today it is only celebrated enthusiastically in the Netherlands, a little less so in Belgium and even less so in some parts of Germany. The figure of Santa Claus and his role during Christmas is largely based on Sinterklaas. The anglicised Santa Claus made his debut in the New World shortly after Dutch colonisation of the Americas.  Santa Claus became a lot more popular and as we know today, although he is the symbol of an important religious holiday, it has also become a very commercialized holiday. If you have anymore questions about this white-bearded and red-cloaked old guy, like what his deal is and how he is celebrated in the Netherlands, click here!

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