The Feast of St. Nicholas is on ode to the known patron saint of children. He is also known as Sinterklaas in The Netherlands and other neighboring countries while he is popular as Santa Claus in the United States and other parts of the world. The day of the feast may vary but it is celebrated on the eve of December 5 or the morning thereafter of December 6. Among the many countries that recognize St. Nicholas are Belgium, Germany, France, Switzerland, Hungary, Poland, Luxembourg and, of course, The Netherlands.
As the story goes, Sinterklass resides in an unknown place in Spain, and every year travels using a steamboat to visit The Netherlands as he lands there around the middle of the month of November. A festivity is round up each time he arrives at a selected city and this is shown all over the country via the Dutch television. Since it is a feast, the people host a huge merry-making with lively music and colorful parades.
Once the feast day is over, it has been a long time tradition for the little kids to place in their shoes different kinds of food to attract the white horse of St. Nicholas. It could be fruits or vegetables that are collected at night by Sinterklaas’s servants known as the Black Petes or Zwarte Piet in Dutch language. They go up house roofs and climb down chimneys to take the food and in return, leave a special gift for the little children.
Popularly, the feast of St. Nicholas or Santa Claus is a well loved celebration especially among children. It is a time for giving gifts, doing good deeds and spending quality time with loved ones. One of the typical gifts are the St. Nicholas candy. It is a chocolate treat in the form of letters that are all over the country during the season of St. Nicholas. The tradition is to give little kids a chocolate in the form of the first letter of their names.
This celebration is enjoyed by people at all ages. But since St. Nicholas is more inclined to children as being their saint, they are mostly the ones who look forward to this once a year festivity. St. Nicholas surely does not want to disappoint them, so he never fails to come by and witness their happy faces.