I'm an American living with my Dutch husband in a village by the North Sea in North Holland, The Netherlands. I thought your family might enjoy seeing how Sinterklaas (our Santa Claus) is costumed here.
In the photo you'll see Sinterklaas has the long white beard like the American Santa Claus and the German St. Nicholas. He wears a long white gown with lace around the hem, girdled by a white cord at the waist and white gloves. Over the gown is a red velvet cape trimmed in gold braid. And upon his head is a hat resembling a bishop's.
By the way, Sinterklaas or St. Nicholas Day is celebrated December 6th each year. The evening before, December 5th, the children put out a shoe to be filled with goodies while they're sleeping. Alternately, the shoes are filled with candy on the eve of the 5th and "Sinterklass" arrives at the door either on the eve or on the 6th bearing an armful of gifts.
Later in December, the first and second day of Christmas are celebrated December 25th and 26th. After the religious ceremonies, both days are usually spent in meals with family - one day people coming to visit and the other day going to family or friends.
Though traditions are different for all of us, depending mostly on family upbringing there are underlying spiritual principles that tie us together as one universal family. When we sit in meditation we go deeply into our sameness, our oneness, because when it comes right down to it the eternal energy of joy flows through all.
Article and photo credit of Sinterklaas in The Netherlands by Susan Helene Kramer.
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