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Who is coming?

“He’s coming
He’s coming
That sweet, kind Sint
My best friend, your best friend
The friend of every child.”

The above is a translation of a Dutch song typically sung around this time of year, due to the 5th of December marking the celebration of Sinterklaas. This Dutch tradition sees children placing a shoe in front of the fireplace and singing a song before going to sleep, all in hopes of receiving a present from Sinterklaas the next morning.  While outsiders sometimes confuse the translated “Saint Nicholas” with Santa Clause, due to the similarity in name but also in characteristics of the white-bearded, red-cloaked man; there are quite a few differences between the two.

When viewed from an outside perspective, the tradition is quite strange and could be seen as confusing. This is why the following article will list a series of differences between the two traditions and their main characters, but also some notable similarities.

Differences

Similarities

According to the University of Utrecht, the Dutch holiday of Saint Nicholas travelled to New York, still New Amsterdam at the time, so we can proudly say that Christmas originated in our cold, rainy, kruidnoot loving country.

Will you be celebrating Sinterklaas this year?

“Hij komt
Hij komt
Die lieve goede Sint
Mijn beste vriend, jouw beste vriend
De vriend van ieder kind”