Christmas in Belgium
December 19, 2015
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“As in The Netherlands, children in Belgium believe that ‘Sinterklaas/St. Niklaas’ (Flemish) or ‘Saint Nicholas’ (Walloon) brings them presents on December 6th, St. Nicholas’ Day.
Children put their shoes in front of the fireplace, together some for Sinterklaas like a drawing or biscuits; they might also leave a carrot for Sinterklass’s horse and something for Zwarte Piet (Black Peter, Sinterklass’s assistant). Then in the night, Sinterklaas arrives on the roof on his horse with Zwarte Piet. Zwarte Piet climbs down the chimney and leaves the presents in and around the shoes. Sinterklaas has a book in which he keeps all the names of the children and tells if they’ve been bad or good. Children are told that if they’ve been bad, Zwarte Piet will put you in his sack and take you back to Spain! Traditional foods that are left for Sinterklaas include tangerines, gingerbread, chocolate and ‘mokjes’ (cookies made in the shapes of letters. There are lots of songs that children sing about Sinterklaas. Different regions of Belgium have different customs and traditions about St. Nicholas.
The visit of Sinkerlass is a separate occasion than Christmas. Christmas is a more religious festival.”
Read more @ http://www.whychristmas.com/cultures/belgium.shtml
Languages do matter!