Sinterklaas

Why I Love Sinterklaas

Why I Love Sinterklaas

When I first arrived in The Netherlands I had no idea who Sinterklaas was. I didn’t even know he existed. My first November/December in the country was deeply confusing for that reason. During the years that followed I learned a little bit more about the tradition but I largely ignored it. I observed it as an outsider, not fully understanding it or having a reason to celebrate it. Then I met a Dutch girl, we […]

4 comments
Read More

Pakjesavond Revenge

Pakjesavond Revenge

Pakjesavond is always a lot of fun. It might be the evening when Sinterklaas delivers all his presents to the children of Holland but it is also an opportunity for older family members to play pranks on each other with joke gifts and fun poems. For my Dutch family-in-law it is specifically a chance for them to highlight unintentional mistakes and mishaps made throughout the year. On the first pakjesavond I celebrated with them I […]

5 comments
Read More

Alternative Zwarte Piet Suggestions

Alternative Zwarte Piet Suggestions

Once a year during November Sinterklaas arrives in The Netherlands and brings with him his helpers the Zwarte Pieten. The black face paint of Zwarte Piet often causes a few raised eyebrows from those who are not familiar with the tradition. In recent years there has been a lot of debate about whether or not the look of Sinterklaas’ trusted helper should be changed. There have been a few attempts at creating alternative Zwarte Pieten; […]

3 comments
Read More

Stuart Piet

White Piet

I slowly crept up the stairs using all the stealth skills that I like to think I have but don’t. The sack over my shoulder made an awkward rustling sound as one of the gifts inside shifted. It struck me that burlap sacks are not the best option when you are trying to carry something quietly. However, they are part of the tradition. The Piet hat that I was wearing was also part of the […]

11 comments
Read More
1 2 3 4