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Netherlands

Christmas

 

In the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg, there is a Christmas tradition of “Sinterklaas” or Saint Nicholas (often referred to as the good saint) and not as in Portugal and many other countries where the tradition is Santa Claus. Saint Nicolas has helpers known as Zwarte Piet in Dutch (“Black Peter”). The celebration of Saint Nicolas, unlike our that are 24 to December 25, December 6 to happen where there is an exchange of gifts. However, here in Holland, the Dutch celebrate the night of December 5, with a celebration called “pakjesavond.” In the reform of the century 16/17 in Europe, many Protestants and others exchanged by the Saint Nicholas celebration of baby Jesus and changed the date of December 6 December 25 by the date.

Tradition says that Saint Nicholas (Sinterklaas) and his helpers arrive every year

from Spain on a steamboat in mid-November bringing a book that contains notes of all children indicating if they behaved well or not during the year also brings gifts, letters of chocolate and candied walnuts to be distributed by the children and behaved. During the next three weeks, it is believed that Saint Nicholas walks in a gray-white horse over the rooftops at night, handing out gifts by the fireplace for good children, while those who behaved badly at risk of being caught by the Saint’s helpers Nicholas carrying huge bags and wicker with this purpose.

Compared with Father Christmas, Sinterklaas is an old, stately and serious with white hair and beard long and full. He wears a long red cape over a white traditional white bishop, sometimes stola and a red turban, and holds a gold-colored bat with the top of the spiral. In Holland and Belgium the character of Father Christmas is known as “Kerstman” in Dutch (“The Christmas man”) and Père Noël (“Father Christmas”) in French. For criançass Although Sinterklaas is the leading donor of the gift Netherlands in December (36% of the population only give presents on Sinterklaas, December 6), one fifth of the population uses Holandeza Christmas gifts to give. (21% give gifts only on Christmas, December 25). About 26 % of Dutch people give gifts on both days. in Belgium only the children receive gifts on the day of Sinterklaas. on Christmas day all people receive gifts.

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