Today I bought the chocolate letters and the marzipan imiation fruit, and the taai-taai because 5 December is not far off.
You may remember me telling you about it HERE
Before going to bed, on December 5 Dutch children leave their shoes (or clogs) near the fireplace or modern substitute and hope that St Nicholas (Sinterklaas) will send his assistant(s) Black Pete® (Zwarte Piet) down the chimney (or find some other way in, to leave presents.
I have been telling you this, on my previous websites from when I first found the internet in 1996!!
The Dutch established themselves in the U.S., before it was called the U.S., and called the city New Amsterdam. Soon it became New York. They brought with them, the tradition of celebrating St Nicholas Day (Sinterklaas Dag) and soon (like many of us) anglicised it to Santa Claus.
Then there was The Night Before Christmas and there was Coca Cola and the rest is history.
And so, when my children were born here in Sydney, their mother and I revived the tradition, for our family too. My parents and I had forgoten about it until my daughter was born, in 1981, just in time for being two months old at Sinterklaas time.
And so, as in previous years, next Monday, 1st December, I’ll be playing Sinterklaas songs again, in the retirement village, in Chester Hill.
There will be young children attending again, from the local school, wearing mitres, made from cardboard and the village’s residents will be watching as these children (who know much more about Santa Claus than about Sinterklaas) each get to have an audience with the good saint and receive a small gift (……if they have been good!).
My own children (No longer children) will no doubt visit my father (91) (in the same village) and we’ll have our chocolate letters and some pepernoten, and keep the tradition alive.
Some responses, from Dutch-Australians to what they do about St Nicholas Day, here.
Time to practise playing the piano-accordion again. It’s close to St Nicholas Day.
In recent years, in the Juliana Retirement Village, Miranda, the Abel Tasman Village in Chester Hill and the Rembrandt Club, in St Marys, I’ve accompanied the singing.