At the beginning of this week, Holland hosted the Parade of Lights! It was a small parade that processed down 8th Street in downtown Holland. They had reindeer and floats, lots of lights, and all spoke of a curious man that looked like Santa Claus, but most certainly was not. Who were they talking about? SINTERKLAAS. Have you ever heard of such a thing? I hadn’t! I had to do a bit of research to learn all the components of SinterKlaas. Let me enlighten you to a well-known Dutch tradition that is essential cultural knowledge when attending Hope College:
Sinterklaas, essentially, is the Dutch Santa Claus. However, research has shown that Sinterklaas and his assistant, Zwarte Pieten, were actually the precursor to Santa Claus and his elves.
He always comes to town on December 6th and the town welcomes him in! This year, he’s actually coming to Holland on December 2nd. He will be entering on his white horse with his assistant by his side. Even the Mayor of Holland will welcome him! On the night of December 5th, he will ride over the houses of our community and all of the children will put their Dutch wooden shoes out on the porch filled with carrots for Sinterklaas’ horses. If you’ve been a good child, he’ll fill your shoes with coins and candy! But… if you’ve been BAD, he’ll fill your shoes with COAL. Sound familiar?
Sinterklaas comes to town?!!!! I’m SO EXCITED. Maybe I’ll set out my shoes. I wonder if he stops by Dykstra…