Friday, December 5, 2008

Sinterklaasfeest 2008 ~ St. Nicholas feast 2008

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"Feast of St. Nicholas" by Jan Steen
c. 1663-65 , oil on canvas
The Rijksmuseum. Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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Tonight is "pakjesavond" (gifts night) here in Holland, for Sinterklaasfeest (feast of St. Nicholas)! As you can see in the painting by the Dutch Master painter, Jan Steen, this is a very old tradition here in the Netherlands. The good children have received gifts, cakes and treats - while the crying boy in the background on the left, woke up to nothing in his shoe. Looks like his little brother might be holding the "roe" (rod) that awaits naughty children! By the way, the "rod" is not one of the traditions that lasted!!
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We've posted about Sinterklaas before on this blog, so if you want to read those posts, you can find them via the links at the bottom of this post or from the side-bar catagory "Sinterklaas". This time, I'm just going to show you some images taken by my "mom" of some of the Sinterklaas treats in the bakeries and candy stores in Montfoort and Oudewater (towns nearby us).
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From a bakery in Montfoort: The cookie on the lower left in this photo, with the almonds in it, is the same sort of cookie that Jan Steen depicted in the painting (the diamond shaped cake/cookie on the lower right of the painting above).

photo copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong

The Sint (saint ) and his helper Zwarte Piet (black pete) in the window of the bakery in Montfoort.
photo copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong
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Yummy! A Zwarte Piet cake and chocolates in a bakery window in the town of Oudewater.
photo copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong
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This is a delightfully charming candy store, "Hocus Pocus", also in Oudewater.
photo copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong
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There were lovely Marzipan Sinterklaas candies in the "Hocus Pocus" candy store. Note the little red "Sintboekjes" (little saint books) made of marzipan. If your name is his big red book without a big X by it, that means you've been good all year and you'll get treats! :o)
photo copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong

I was good and this is what I received this year.

photo copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong

A "kattenkruidmuis" (catnip mouse)!

photo copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong


Happy Sinterklaas to all my friends!
I hope you were good and got loads of treats!
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Doei! (bye)
Sacha
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Links to past posts about Sinterklaas ... with more of the story of the tradition:
2007:
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2006:
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2 comments:

SurfAnna said...

Great ! now i'm hungry... :-)
Great blog you have here. I like your pics a lot, they give a good insight of Netherlands (well i've never been to NL, so i'm just guessing).

J. Nijholt-Strong said...

Merci, SurfAnna!

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