Friday, December 05, 2008

St Nicolas feast

Today we celebrate the feast of St Nicolas in Holland. Most shops will close at around 17.00 hour so that everyone will be home in time to celebrate the happy evening. The above picture was taken several years ago. It was the last time a "real" St Nicolas and two Black Pete's came in person to bring us gifts. There were still many believing kids (in St. Nicolas) in our family that year.
Small children are a little afraid of this bearded man with his dark helpers. That's also because we sing a song saying that he will take naughty kids back with him to Spain in the sacks he brings from Spain filled with presents. Once they're empty a kid will easily fit in. But that's all the joking part. The best part is all the gifts he brings along and that's why we call it the happy evening for there is a present for everybody.
St. Nicolas also likes to joke with the bigger kids among us, knowing we just have to play along to keep it up for the little ones. So here he asked my eldest son to sit on Black Pete's lap so he could have a word with him. In that big book on his lap he has written down all he knows about everyone.
Ah and last but not least even grandma had to believe in it but St Nicolas wanted her on his lap. LOL!! Do you get the thing? It is all about having loads of fun!Just in case you are wondering when this feast ends. Well the story goes that at the end of this day the Saint leaves Holland to go back home to Spain. That's why as from tomorrow St. Nicolas and Black Pete's decorations will be removed from all stores and Santa Claus will move in.


Anonymous said...

Zo kom ik nog eens de hele wereld over .

June said...

You mean you don't have people there who leave the decorations up for months?? Around here some leave theirs up through much of January. I'm thinking it was so much work to put up they want to have it up for a least until after the super bowl party :-) Not me. I'm a traditionalist. Nothing up before Thanksgiving is done and all comes down the week after Christmas.

Carin said...

Oh yes there are people like that here too but we try to keep Santa out of the shops and the houses so that a typical Dutch tradition like St Nicolas won't disappear in the Xmass thing.
Me I'm not the Xmass kind. In fact the Xmass tree will come in the house about a week before Xmass (because I have to) and on 1st January all Xmass decorations will be removed.

julie said...

Happy St Nicholas Day :) I looked at your other posts too, especially the Black Pete :)

Anonymous said...

Happy Holidays!