put something in my shoe
The shoemaking tradition dates back to the 15th century. Then it happened in churches, where the proceeds were given to the poor. Today it carries a slightly different connotation. Parents let their children put on their shoes on average twice a week in the period between the arrival and Christmas Eve.
Saint Nicholas was born in 270 AD. born in Myra. If we calculate, he is now 1750 years old. Sint-Nicolaas actually died on December 6, 340 AD, but we just keep counting. After his death he was declared a saint; the anniversary of a saint’s death is usually celebrated the day before, which is why paksavond falls on December 5.
What we would rather not know
The S for Sinterklaas is also the S for sugar. From chewy to marzipan, Sinterklaas is all about sweets. On average, we eat around 400 grams of gingerbread cookies per year, although some will secretly be far above it. If you have 100 grams of gingerbread cookies, then unfortunately also around 440 calories, 11 grams of fat and 32 grams of sugar. A chocolate letter goes one step further and contains at least 520 calories (a no, the letter M is not bigger than the I).
Don’t be afraid, here’s Mick
Since 1999, Mick’s Rhyme Dictionary has been a rock as soon as December arrives. In the run-up to Sinterklaas, the website attracts an average of between 300,000 and 350,000 visitors on a good day. On D-Day there are even half a million. By the way: a poem should consist of at least 16 to 20 lines. Don’t worry, luckily we have Mick!
Sinterklaas does have a money tree on his back
Of course, children all over the country have to be provided with presents. Online retailers see that their turnover increases by about 28% in the period around Sinterklaas. In the Netherlands, the average amount we spend on Sinterklaas is around 113 euros.
That seems like a lot for just gifts, but don’t forget the costs for decorations, surprises and snacks and drinks during the evening.
From Schimmel to Amerigo
The only horse in the world that can walk on roofs. Traditionally, Sinterklaas’ horse is a gray; the light fur is a clear contrast to the red of the tabard. The fungus, which for years was called Schimmel, was renamed Amerigo in 1990. Amerigo’s retirement was announced in 2019, after which the horse Ozosnel made his appearance. In total there have been six horses that have rendered a loyal service to Sinterklaas.
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