Monday, January 11, 2010


The Dutch celebrate Sinterklaas on December 6, which is Father Christmas' birthday.  Since Adam goes to a Shell School, this holiday is celebrated in a big way.  Father Christmas has these helpers called the Zwarte Piet (Black Pete) that go down the chimney for him to deliver gifts and candy (and are black because of the chimney soot).  They are mischievous and usually leave behind a mess, I guess so that the children will know that they were there.  Another Sinterklaas tradition is the children leave their shoes by the door so that the Black Pete will leave them a present inside.  Kind of like us leaving stockings hung on the chimney I suppose.  Anyway, there was a big Sinterklaas celebration at the school, which I found fascinating.  I don't remember seeing it last year, which is odd because I know we were here.  Adam spoke for weeks before the assembly about Sinterklaas and the Black Petes, and I had no idea what he was talking about until I asked the teacher.  For the Sinterklaas celebration, Adam's class performed the Macarena, which was hilarious.  Throughout the assembly, the Black Petes performed tricks and handed out papernotes (Dutch cookies that remind me of a cross between a snickerdoodle and a gingersnap).  Adam had a great time, and kept asking me when the Black Petes would visit our house...

Adam's class left out their shoes for the Black Petes

Father Christmas and the Black Petes at the Sinterklaas celebration at school

Black Pete giving out papernotes

Adam and his class getting ready to perform for Father Christmas

Doing the Macarena

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