Sinterklaas has once again visited the Netherlands. It’s an old tradition; you can read all about at Wikipedia.
Before going to bed, children put their shoes next to the fireplace chimney of the coal-fired stove or fireplace (or in modern times close to the central heating radiator). They leave the shoe with a carrot or some hay in it and a bowl of water nearby “for Sinterklaas’ horse”, and the children sing a Sinterklaas song. The next day they find some candy or a small present in their shoes. Typical Sinterklaas treats traditionally include hot chocolate, mandarin oranges, pepernoten, speculaas (sometimes filled with almond paste), letter-shaped pastry filled with almond paste or a chocolate letter (the first letter of the child’s name made out of chocolate), chocolate coins and marzipan figures.
And though our students are not exactly children anymore, this year we all – students, teachers and co-workers alike – made colorful shoes for Sinterklaas. Here you see them gathered, hoping to be rewarded with a present. Because, of course, we’ve all been good all year! And we were not disappointed. 😀
Dank u, Sinterklaasje!
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