Thursday, December 06, 2007


In the midst of all the Christmas shopping and appearances of Santa Claus in the US shopping malls, we kept the European tradition of Sinterklaas on December 6th alive. While other years he drops by in person, he was terribly busy this year (as he wrote in a letter to our kids). Hence he only dropped by in the middle of the night and left the presents and candy in the living room. And lo and behold, the horse of Sinterklaas ate the carrots my kids left in their shoe. It was a great morning. All was well.

Wikipedia has some interesting facts about the history of Sinterklaas and his relation to Santa Claus:
Sinterklaas is the basis for the North American figure of Santa Claus. It was during the American War of Independence, that the inhabitants of New York City, a former Dutch colonial town (New Amsterdam) which had been swapped by the Dutch for other territories, reinvented their Sinterklaas tradition, as Saint Nicholas was a symbol of the city's non-English past. The name Santa Claus is derived from older Dutch Sinte Klaas.

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