Saint Nicolas in The Netherlands

Saint Nicolaas (Sinterklaas as we call it in The Netherlands) needs a bit of explanation.  It is a tradition from long ago. The story: a bishop, declared holy, called Saint Nicolaas, gives presents to little children on his birthday, the 5th of December. He arrives on a steam ship (yeah.. right..) from Spain. And he has helpers who climb down the chimneys (….) to deliver the presents in each house. The presents are put in the shoe of the children who have placed them near the fire place (… in an appartment?). Children put a carrot in the shoe for the white horse of Saint Nicolaas. It is a bit like Santa Claus at Christmas with reindeers. You can also read a funny explanation of this tradition on the site Stuff Dutch people like.

This is the good bit. Now the controversy, or better said, the battle which is going on around Saint Nicolaas.  View Post