Friday, December 05, 2008

Sinterklaas versus Santaclaus

In the Netherlands most people celebrate Sinterklaas on or around the 5th of december. To keep it simple (if you really want to know more go google it!) it's the Dutch version of Santaclaus with it's own background story entirely.
There are of course some Dutch traitors who don't celebrate Sinterklaas, but celebrate Santaclaus instead...they should be deported to Alaska or something. I'm sure Palin would be happy to welcome them.

I could write up a whole story about what's different about the whole ceremony but I'll bring it back to a couple of basic things that make Sinterklaas better!

1 Pepernoten or Kruidnoten(peppernuts or spicenuts)
Real pepernoten:

Kruidnoten (often just referred to as pepernoten because most people don't know the difference but like these better):

These are thé number one snack when it's nearing (or is) Sinterklaas evening. You can either make them yourselves or buy them in supermarkets.

2 Taai Taai cookies

I sent a couple of these to Debbie last year. I don't know if she really liked them, but I do! Their name (I've heard it get's confusing because it's spelled like a word in Malay meaning something entirely different to say the least) means something like 'toughtough' referring to the sticky tough nature of this cookie. Only eaten during the period near Sinterklaas. Délicious!

3 Poems
Maybe this is a #1..but I had to start somewhere. It's custom to give eachother presents *psssst don't tell your children sinterklaas is often helped by parents and the kids older then.. say 10-11 years old* and write up a poem about the specific present. Most of the time it's just a basic rhyme working like:

'This rhyme
isn't worth a dime'

Next to referring to the gifts, these poems also are used to get back at eachother or make fun of something someone did the last year. It's a friendly way of mocking and as I've written a bunch of simple poems this night (ugh..1.30 am GMT+1) I already enjoyed the prospect of watching the victims read these poems out loud.
If you're really into it, it's even normal to give an extra gift that's nothing more than just a jest towards a person with an appropriate poem.

It's these 3 simple things that made me realize today that Sinterklaas is the best time of the year. Santaclaus doesn't bring these three things, and nothing he brings..can top least in my mind.

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Anonymous Marita said...

We did the Gold Coins (foil wrapped chocolate) in the shoes today for the first time.

I'm hoping to work it into our Christmas family tradition for future years. :)

I found out about it in a book about the Real Saint Nicholas.

5 December 2008 at 03:08  
Anonymous Dan said...

The more versions of santa the better in my opinion. I'm going to see if I can somehow get one for every day of the year.

5 December 2008 at 10:05  
Blogger Arjan said...

I can't believe I forgot the gold coins! That's a #4 then :)
I will put my shoe up for coins (or whatever) tonight..because we'll be celebrating it a day late.

Did you put a carrot in the shoe for Sinterklaas' horse? He likes them carrots :)

@ Dan: hmm every day of the year, every day of a colander would be enough to ask for I think ;)

5 December 2008 at 10:49  
Blogger Dan said...

Never. It's never enough. I demand more santa!

5 December 2008 at 11:33  
Blogger Arkonbey said...

are you going to post recipes?

16 December 2008 at 05:07  
Blogger Arjan said...

I might as well..might not be till this weekend though..

16 December 2008 at 15:28  

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