In northern Europe, Saint Nicholas is known as Sinterklaas, a man who rides a gray horse called Amerigo and hands out presents on his birthday, Dec. 5th. The Legend of St. Nicholas: A Story of Christmas Giving Dandi Daley Mackall. Hardcover. Only 17 left in stock - order soon. Some Dutch people argue that the character should not be discontinued because it is part of a long-held Dutch tradition around Sinterklaas. To exact payment, the innkeeper chopped them up into little bits and cooked them in a stew. Figures [edit | edit source] Sinterklaas [edit | edit source] File:Sinterklaas 2007.jpg. But the naughty children, as the Sinterklaas story goes, get Zwarte Piet — a dark-skinned figure who follows Sinterklaas around on his trips. How St Nicholas Inspired Santa Claus REQUEST A QUOTE Nicholas was born long ago, far away But his generous faith still inspires today It's a story with chapters both old and new Please read as I repeat just a few. The Meertens Institute says the first intocht van Sinterklaas, or the arrival of Sinterklaas, took place in Zwolle in 1873 when ‘a couple of well-to do farmers had a local prankster dress up as Sinterklaas distributing sweets to poor children’. December 3, 2020. Although the Zwarte Piet tradition hasn’t entirely ended, there have been changes. The picture book “Het verhaal van Sinterklaas”, or The story of Sinterklaas, is a part of the classic picture book series “Gouden Boekjes”, or Golden Books. … Most disturbingly, there have been incidents of white supremacists coopting the pro-Zwarte Piet movement to signal their ethnonationalism. However, critics of Zwarte Piet fiercely disagree. Or do they? The Dutch celebrate the Feast of Sinterklaas honoring the life of St. Nicholas, and although St. Nicholas is always shown wearing his bishop's attire, the Dutch tend to see him as a kindly old man, rather than as a Catholic saint. In recent years the roe has been absent, to adapt to modern times. But the naughty children, as the Sinterklaas story goes, get Zwarte Piet — a dark-skinned figure who follows Sinterklaas around on his trips. Wikimedia CommonsIn old Dutch children’s books, Zwarte Piet was depicted as Sinterklaas’ terrifying dark-skinned helper who punished naughty children. Romy Arroyo Fernandez/NurPhoto via Getty Images. By the 1820s, the new character was described as a “curly-haired negro” — and he became known as Zwarte Piet. Sinterklaas usually arrives at towns in the Netherlands by boat in mid November to start the festivities leading up to the 6 December. The story about Sinterklaas’ helper using the chimney and therefore being black is an often heard argument to support that his black skin has nothing to do with racism. In 1809, Washington Irving helped to popularize the Sinter Klaas stories when he referred to St. Nicholas as the patron saint of New York in his book, The History of New York. His golden crosier with curl detail is inspired by the … Little else is known about him—except that he loved children. It’s Sinterklaas all the way! Those cosplaying as Zwarte Piet are usually white people dressed in outlandish costumes, afro wigs, and red lipstick. Although similar to Santa Claus in that he is an older man with a full, white beard who wears a red outfit, Sinterklass is a more serious figure, donning a bishop's headdress and carrying a long, curled shepherd's staff. The result is that Sinterklaas is celebrated by Dutch people of all ages and beliefs, without any real religious connotations. In this version of the holiday tale, written by children’s book author Sjoerd Kuyper and illustrated by Emanuel Wiemans, Sinterklaas doesn’t travel in on a steamboat or have Black Piets as his helpers. His helper and best friend is Black Peter. He wears a colorful jester-like outfit and large gold earrings. Sinterklaas: Religious iconography is a major influence in skinny Sint’s winter wardrobe. Two anti-Black Pete activists holding banners during the arrival of Sinterklaas to the city of Nijmegen in 2019. casting white actors to play people of other races. Zwarte Piet helps Sinterklaas wrap up presents and get things done. Dutch children believe that Sinterklaas writes down whether they've been naughty or nice in his red book. Sinterklaas [Dobson, Kathy, Dobson, Kathy] on Amazon.com. At the Feast of Sinterklaas, the Dutch indulge in a variety of sweets including cookies, candies, and bread. Sinterklaas is an elderly, stately and serious man with white hair and a long, full beard. The name of Sinterklaas’ horse has only been “Amerigo” since 1990, when a police horse named Amerigo was chosen to be Sinterklaas his horse during the national entry into the country which is aired on tv. He continues to be the subject of many legends. Sinterklaas has arrived in town. According to political scientist Joke Hermes, Schenkman’s idea of a dark-skinned curly-haired Sinterklaas helper may have been inspired by his encounter with the royal family’s Black slave. By 2019, there were anti-Black Pete protests in 18 cities across the Netherlands ahead of the Sinterklaas festivals. “If you habituate children to respond to these strange characters with black faces, that’s their model of Black people,” said Mieke Bal, a Dutch cultural theorist at the University of Amsterdam. Dezember in den Niederlanden, am 6. Sinterklaas by Bram van der Vlugt. A type of mulled wine, called bischopswijn, is also enjoyed. Thousands of white Dutch people paint their faces black to dress up as the character every year. Screen Recorder. According to Dutch tradition, Sinterklaas makes his rounds of giveaways accompanied by a helper named Zwarte Piet, or Black Pete. All we know for sure is that, in the Middle Ages, Dutch people really liked drawing pictures of Sinterklaas dragging Satan around in chains. The movement to get rid of the Zwarte Piet blackface tradition strengthened in 2011. Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty ImagesSupporters argue Zwarte Piet’s black skin is merely soot from the chimney, but the character’s racialized features suggest it is indeed a caricature of Black people. $14.59. He died on December 6th, so his life is commemorated as the Feast of Sinterklass on December 5th and 6th. THE LEGEND OF ST. NICHOLAS . [3] “Sinter who?” you might be asking yourselves. There was further controversy when Google stepped in to the debate and blocked all ads of Zwarte Pieten. Additionally, his lithe frame gave way to a well-padded potbelly, and his trusty white steed was traded in for a troupe of reindeer. Like many countries around the world, the Netherlands has a long way to go in reconciling its troubling past with its diverse present. There, his Catholic garb was gradually transformed into the jolly non-sectarian red suit with the white fur trim we are all so familiar with. Broadcast your events with reliable, high-quality live streaming. Most schools play a version of Secret Santa in which each kid has to bring a surprise gift for a classmate, whose name he or she picked out of a hat. Some scholars suggest Black Pete’s story came from German mythology, which involved rituals in which people darkened their faces to resemble terrifying devil-like creatures. They see it as a cherished children’s celebration. The story stretches all the way back to the 3rd century, when Saint Nicholas walked the earth and became the patron saint of children. Every year, thousands of people line the streets across the Netherlands to celebrate the festival of Saint Nicholas, or, as he is better known, Sinterklaas. This reckoning has gained steamed as the Netherlands, which has a long history of colonialism and involvement in the transatlantic slave trade, has become home to a more diverse population. 4.5 out of 5 stars 329. He is a robed, white-bearded man who visits good children on December 5 to lavish them with gifts. Santa Claus, Father Christmas, St. Nick, no matter the name, everyone knows the story of this plump, jolly, bringer of gifts. How Stalin's Favorite Executioner Vasily Blokhin Personally Killed 7,000 Poles During The Katyn Massacre, Japan's 'Twitter Killer' Who Stalked Suicidal Victims Online Gets Death Sentence, What Stephen Hawking Thinks Threatens Humankind The Most, 27 Raw Images Of When Punk Ruled New York, Join The All That's Interesting Weekly Dispatch. Which European country will inspire your culinary journey tonight? Zwarte Piet impersonators also speak in Afro-Caribbean accents, further emphasizing the racialization of the character. Historians believe that Dutch and German settlers took the tradition with them to America. The holiday, consisting of Saint Nicholas's Eve and Saint Nicholas's Day, is observed by exchanging gifts and chocolate letters of the recipient's first initial. Sein Begleiter ist traditionell der Zwarte Piet. Romy Arroyo Fernandez/NurPhoto via Getty ImagesTwo anti-Black Pete activists holding banners during the arrival of Sinterklaas to the city of Nijmegen in 2019. Additionally, his lithe frame gave way to a well-padded potbelly, and his trusty white steed was traded in for a troupe of … The story of Sinterklaas has been celebrated throughout Europe since the Middle Ages. In the Netherlands, we start to celebrate Sinterklaas from mid-November, with the official arrival of St. Nicholas, on his steamboat from Spain. While Saint Nicholas has been celebrated in Europe since the Middle Ages, his Black helper Zwarte Piet didn’t come along until the beginning of the mid-19th century. By 1939, the story had sold over two and a half million copies, and in 1949 it inspired the famous Rudolph song depicting Rudolph’s triumph over a foggy night. Saint Nicholas was born in the 3rd century to wealthy parents in the Patara region, Greek at the time, but currently in Turkey. The tradition has come under fire in recent years. In November, parades are held across the Netherlands to celebrate Sinterklaas. Enterprise. That year, protesters from a national campaign called “Zwarte Piet is Racism” were brutally arrested by police following peaceful protests in a handful of towns. A Sinterklaas helper was first mentioned in 1800, though there was no description of his physical appearance. Dutch colonists later brought the story of Sinterklaas to the American colonies in the 17th century. It is also customary to make good-natured fun of your loved ones by way of humorous poetry and offering the infamous "surprise," which is a homemade gag gift that hides another present inside. 1 Modern Dutch Tradition 1.1 Appearance 1.2 Welcoming Ceremony 1.3 Placing Shoess 1.4 Present Night 1.5 Secret Sinterklaas 2 Origins of Saint Nicholas 2.1 Nicholas of Myra 2.2 Nicholas of Sion 2.3 Nicholas of Tolentino 3 The Myra Legends 3.1 The dowry 3.2 Tamer of storms 3.3 The murders 4 History of a Dutch Tradition 4.1 A forgotten tradition 4.2 The return of Sinterklaas 4.3 A new helper … Get our cookbook, free, when you sign up for our newsletter. Many U.S. theater groups toured across Europe, introducing these racist caricatures of Black people to white Europeans. Whilst reindeer and Santa Claus seem like an obvious pairing, this hasn’t always been the case: reindeer were initially introduced to America in a marketing effort to sell reindeer meat and fur to consumers. Find out more about the history of Santa Claus from its origins to today’s favorite shopping mall, and discover how two New Yorkers-Clement Clark Moore and Thomas Nast-were the main influences of the millions of Santa Claus children waiting each Christmas Eve. Zwarte Piet helps Sinterklaas wrap up presents and get things done. Wikimedia CommonsWhile Saint Nicholas has been celebrated in Europe since the Middle Ages, his Black helper Zwarte Piet didn’t come along until the beginning of the mid-19th century. He is depicted as an elderly, stately and serious man with white hair and a long, full beard. Some parade organizers have adjusted the character by presenting performers with black blotches on their faces — reflecting the idea that Zwarte Piet’s face is black from chimney soot, not the color of his skin. Live Streaming. Nacho Calonge/Getty ImagesThousands of white Dutch people don blackface and dress up as Zwarte Piet during the Sinterklaas parades in the Netherlands. Children flip through the toy-filled pages of the catalogue, inspired by beautiful images and gift ideas. The True Saint Nicholas: Why He Matters to Christmas William J. Bennett. Sinterklaas ist die niederländische Bezeichnung für eine volkstümliche, an den historischen Nikolaus von Myra angelehnte Gestalt. In old Dutch children’s books, Zwarte Piet was depicted as Sinterklaas’ terrifying dark-skinned helper who punished naughty children. I don’t know if it was attempting to cocoon the whole thing but it inspired me to write a children’s story about a young ambitious spider. Ying Tang/NurPhoto via Getty ImagesA 2015 U.N. committee urged the Netherlands to drop the Black Pete character from its Sinterklaas celebrations due to its racist sterotyping of Black people. There, his Catholic garb was gradually transformed into the jolly non-sectarian red suit with the white fur trim we are all so familiar with. Legends of these terrifying ghouls make up a significant part of winter traditions in European countries like Bavaria, Austria, and the Czech Republic. They paint their faces black to match the character. Natasha Ishak is a staff writer at All That's Interesting. Sinterklaas visited MERLN's office Apparently everyone in MERLN has been good this year, because Sinterklaas came by the office today and, with the assistance of some MERLN helpers, he left behind some chocolate and "pepernoten" to get everyone through the weekend! The exact origins of Black Pete are hazy, but he is largely believed to have come from a children’s book in the early 19th century. It is said that Sinterklaas was the precursor of Santa Claus. But Zwarte Piet … Built around the image of Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of children, Sinterklass (the name resulting from the contraction of Sint Nikolaas) is a legendary Christmas figure celebrated and loved in the Netherlands. More and more people have called out the Zwarte Piet costumes as “blackface,” a racist caricature portrayal of Black people performed by non-Black people. The English-speaking colonists in America adopted the story, calling Sinterklaas “Santa Claus.” Thousands of white Dutch people don blackface and dress up as Zwarte Piet during the Sinterklaas parades in the Netherlands. The practice was adopted by European performers and continued into the 1970s. Romy Arroyo Fernandez/NurPhoto via Getty ImagesMany parade organizers have replaced the blackface tradition with performers partially covered in blotches of soot instead. He is a robed, white-bearded man who visits good children on December 5 to lavish them with gifts. However, the practice has drawn increasing criticism for its racist depiction of Black people — especially as the Netherlands grapples with its history of colonialism and slavery. Launching History, Friday, December 25, Santa Claus has a long history in the Christmas tradition. Sinterklaas is based on the historical figure of Saint Nicholas (270–343), a Greek bishop of Myra in present-day Turkey. Sunday, December 6th 2020, 1:24 AM EST . St. Nick may have inspired Santa, but his own story is very inspiring. 273 Views. Saint Nicholas was greatly admired for his piety and kindness. In 2015, a report by the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination found the Zwarte Piet character is “sometimes portrayed in a manner that reflects negative stereotypes of people of African descent and is experienced by many people of African descent as a vestige of slavery.”. The naughty kids get a visit from Krampus or Belsnickle, evil demons who punish all bad children. In 2019, there were anti-Zwarte Piet protests across 18 cities in the Netherlands. For instance, the The Black and White Minstrel Show ran from 1958 until 1978 on BBC. Now that you’ve read about Black Pete, learn about England’s blackface-wearing Morris dancers and Hollywood’s problematic history of casting white actors to play people of other races. No Santa Claus, Nikolaus or Papai Noel. He comes to The Netherlands around mid-November on boat from Spain, where he lives… Sinterklaas is the basis of the mythical holiday … Nicholas Sinterklaas was born in the 4th century in Myra, Asia Minor, and there became a bishop. A template encourages them to cut and paste, to craft a beautiful wish list that can be proudly shown to their families. In Holland, it is more common to give presents on Sinterklaas than at Christmas, which remains a day to spend with family and attend a church ceremony. The details of this story are a little vague. Supporters argue Zwarte Piet’s black skin is merely soot from the chimney, but the character’s racialized features suggest it is indeed a caricature of Black people. The English-speaking colonists in America adopted the story, calling Sinterklaas " Santa Claus ." But Sinterklaas only gives presents to nice children. “This blackface indoctrination is something that everyone in the Netherlands grew up with,” said Jerry Afriyie, a Black Dutch activist and one of the driving forces behind the campaign against Zwarte Piet blackface. Indeed, studies show that blackface portrayals of Black Pete do more harm than good as Black Dutch children experience racial slurs that originate from the Zwarte Piet character. We will come back to that a little further. The history of blackface itself can be traced back to the minstrel performances that began in the 1830s. The legend of Santa Claus goes back hundreds of years to a monk named San Nicolás. It is said that Sinterklaas was the precursor of Santa Claus. Over the next two weeks I am going to be taking a short break from blogging while I am on holiday in the UK. Advertisement. Sinterklaas (also called Sint Nicolaas) is a traditional Winter holiday figure in Dutch-speaking Europe (The Netherlands and Flanders), and is also well known in the former Dutch colonies. It is often claimed that during the American War of Independence, the inhabitants of New York City, a former Dutch colonial town (New Amsterdam), reinvented their Sinterklaas tradition, as Saint Nicholas was a symbol of the city's non-English past. Many Dutch people dress up as Zwarte Piet — which literally translates to “Black Pete” — to celebrate the holiday by donning a curly wig, big gold earrings, red lips, and blackface. In recent years the roe has been absent, to adapt to modern times. He spent his life by giving away his wealth to the poor and doing good deeds. But the tradition of Zwarte Piet is deeply ingrained in Dutch society. Zwarte Piet is described as a bumbling Moor from Spain who carries Sinterklaas’ heavy load of presents, wraps gifts, and kidnaps naughty children to punish them. St. Nicholas Day Is Celebrated on December 6th in Poland, St. Joseph's Day in Poland (Dzien Swietego Jozefa), A Chef's Musings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Legacy and Favorite Foods, Recipes for Dutch Holiday Desserts and Festive Treats, The 5 Best Chocolate Advent Calendars of 2021, The 15 Best Gifts for Beer Lovers of 2021, The 15 Best Gifts for Cheese Lovers of 2021. Every year he is celebrated in The Netherlands, one day before Saint Nicholas died (5 December) and on (6 December) in Belgium. The story of Sinterklaas has been celebrated throughout Europe since the Middle Ages. Sinterklaas (Dutch pronunciation ... a tradition supposedly originating in the story of Saint Nicholas saving three young girls from prostitution by tossing golden coins through their window at night to pay their dowries. A 2015 U.N. committee urged the Netherlands to drop the Black Pete character from its Sinterklaas celebrations due to its racist sterotyping of Black people. Fellow readers, I hope you have behaved this year. Record and instantly share video messages from your browser. Many parade organizers have replaced the blackface tradition with performers partially covered in blotches of soot instead. When Sinterklaas went to children’s homes in the Middle Ages, he took a different friend with him: Satan, the Prince of Darkness. But when RTL changed their Piet’s to an actual soot Piet all hell broke out in little Holland. “So that means the judge, the police, the prime minister, all the people we’re depending on to stop racism, chances are that around this time they are in blackface entertaining their children.”. Er ist Hauptfigur eines Kinderfestes, das am 5. Wikimedia CommonsIn 2019, there were anti-Zwarte Piet protests across 18 cities in the Netherlands. In any case, the image of Black Pete became synonymous with the Sinterklaas celebrations in the Netherlands. In 19th-century illustrations of the Dutch Sinterklaas story, Zwarte Piet has black skin, big red lips, and curly hair. The blackface cosplay of Zwarte Piet during the Sinterklaas festival has been criticized for its racist portrayal of Black people. Historians believe that Dutch and German settlers took the tradition with them to America. These demons beat misbehaving children with sticks, eat them, or kidnap them and send them off to hell. 4.7 out of 5 stars 319. The report called on the Dutch government to eliminate the practice as a form of racial stereotyping. But Zwarte Piet also punishes children who have misbehaved. This season, he’s mostly pairing his red, papal gown with a white bishop’s alb and a red mitre emblazoned with a cross. Blackface minstrel groups showcased white actors who colored their skin with greasepaint to create racialized, mocking portrayals of Black people for the benefit of a white audience. Traditional recipes are speculaas (spiced cookies), kruidnoten (mini spiced cookies, also called ginger nuts), pepernoten (small aniseed-flavored honey cookies), taai-taai (aniseed and honey-flavored figurines), banketstaaf (almond-filled pastries), chocolate letters, and duivekater (a festive sweet bread). Make social videos in an instant: use custom templates to tell the right story for your business. By Ashley Novak, CNN. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Hardcover. The Netherlands has a slightly different Sinterklaas tale. The present celebrations are nevertheless largely inspired by a story, Sinterklass and his servant, written by a Dutch teacher in 1845. Sinterklaas (Template:IPA-nl) ... a tradition supposedly originating in the story of Saint Nicholas saving three young girls from prostitution by tossing golden coins through their window at night to pay their dowries. The 10-minute movie tells the compelling story of Frog’s invitation to lead the Sinterklaas Parade, but his appearance had to be postponed by the cancellation of this year’s event. Sinterklaas is the basis for the North American figure of Santa Claus. Ever since then he has been known as Amerigo, even though before that he was just known as “Sinterklaas’ horse” or “Sinterklaas’ white horse”. Why Does The Netherlands Have A Christmas Character That Wears Blackface And Steals Children? A wish list poster with a leaflet of decorating stickers was inserted inside the catalogue. The first illustration of this dark-skinned helper appeared in a children’s book about Sinterklaas in 1850 written by Jan Schenkman. Dutch colonists later brought the story of Sinterklaas to the American colonies in the 17th century. Dezember in Belgien sowie in vielen ehemaligen niederländischen Kolonien gefeiert wird. Some parents leave a bag of gifts on Sinterklass's behalf by the door and the occasional "surprise" knock signals the kids that the gifts have arrived. When he encounters naughty children, Zwarte Piet is said to put them in his empty bag of toys and kidnap them. By leaving their shoes near the door or chimney and placing carrots or hay for Sinterklass's horses inside of them, the kids expect a gift in return if they were good. Still, such traditions are deeply ingrained in Dutch culture. Although he is not depicted as terrifying or otherworldly like Krampus or Belsnickle, Black Pete has a similarly frightful reputation among Dutch children. Either way, both Sinterklaas and Santa Claus stand for the generosity of spirit and kindness to children. Wappingers Historical Society. The celebrations . Magazine editor, restaurant reviewer, and food writer who focuses on Dutch cuisine. A story is told about three little boys who dined at a restaurant and, after eating their fill, informed the innkeeper that they could not pay their bill. (he supposedly comes from Spain, this appears to be due to the mistaken belief he was buried there - his relics are in fact in Italy). Well, he is definitely not your ordinary guy-in-red-who-gives-presents-around-the-end-of-the-year. Reports of extremists attacking anti-Zwarte Piet protesters, distributing right-wing party stickers to children, and performing the Nazi salute at rallies have spiked in recent years. Since 1952 the arrival of Sinterklaas has been a televised event which sees the Sint and his Zwarte Pieten land in style from their steam boat from Spain (although … $16.99. Them in his red book, or kidnap them and send them off to hell bischopswijn, is also.... Stepped in to the minstrel performances that began in the Netherlands when Google stepped in to the poor and good! 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