One of the awesome blessings that comes with living on board a multicultural community is all of the different traditions and celebrations that are shared. On December 5th, in honor of our Dutch crewmembers, Sinterklaas made a visit! This is the celebration of St. Nicholas's birthday. They tell me he comes from Spain, and the little children that are bad don't get any gifts and might even get taken off to Spain themselves! His little companion is Black Pete, who is said to be the one who actually goes down the chimneys so he gets really dirty, and throws candy and jumps around. Children place a shoe by the fireplace in the evening, and in the morning, it's full of presents. I was asking a Dutch friend about it and she was saying this is a much bigger holiday in Holland than even Christmas!
Find our more about the Sinterklaas tradition here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinterklaas
Happy Birthday, Sinterklaas! krissy