Friday, December 5, 2008


Today is Sinterklaas in the Netherlands.  There have been decorations around for ages, since the beginning of November more or less.  Sinterklaas is pretty much like Christmas, but takes place on December 5th.  They exchange gifts and have family gatherings.  I asked a Dutch student that is in one of my classes, and he says that his family celebrates both Sinterklaas and Christmas.  He had a family dinner yesterday night and exchanged gifts then too (but I think traditionally people celebrate it on the 5th).  In terms of holidays, everything is still open today, but on Christmas things are closed. 

There are two main figures for Sinterklaas: Sinterklaas (who looks a bit like Santa Claus) and Zwarte Piet (or Black Pete and kind of like the elves that we know).

Sinterklaas with Black Pete