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Sinterklaas in Amersfoort

Merry Christmas

From the day of the parade until "Sinterklaas Day", Dec. 5th, we saw Zwarte Piet all over town. Two of the stores had beds set up in their windows and any time of the day you might see Piet taking a nap. They give out candy and Pepernoten which is a little cookie - about the size of a kibble and is the most traditional treat during Sinterklaas Days.

House for Horse

At various times during the two weeks, the white horse of Sinterklaas is in this little house that was built especially for him in one of the squares called the Varkensmarkt (this means Pig Market and was where pigs were sold in the early days of Amersfoort.) This is one of the squares where I love to have coffee on summer days in the outside restaurant so I'm glad they no longer sell pigs there.

Elephant from Parade
House for Horse

Our Turn Next

Whenever you see the white horse in the stall, you know that Sinterklaas is out walking through Amersfoort. We tried to get the horse to stick up his head in the photo on the left, but he was too busy eating. Sinterklaas was somewhere in the town on this day greeting children and asking if they have been good little boys and girls. Here is a few little ones waiting for their turn to talk to Sinterklaas.

Waiting for Sinterklaas

On his walks through town Sinterklaas is sometimes accompanied by a Zwarte Piet Band playing happy music that sounds a little like Dixieland music. Most of their music, naturally, is Sinterklaas music and I hope to know some of those songs by next year. Till then, I'll miss Zwarte Piet with all of the colorful costumes, happy smiles and music.

These Piets are Brenda (left) and Karin (right). They were in front of the little house where the horse was kept. I know you'll agree with me that they are even prettier than their costumes.

Twin Zwarte Piets

Dag, Brenda and Karin. Prettige Kerstdagen!

On the next page you can read some of the histories and legends of Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet. I still haven't found out the name of his horse, but I'll include it when I know for sure. So far each person I ask has given me a different answer. Most people say they never remembered a name for the horse and that he's just called the Paard, which is the Dutch word for horse. Maybe I should have gotten it "straight from the horse's mouth" when I saw him in the stable.

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Copyright: Rollie Braam - 2000 - 2006
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