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Sinterklaas Arrives In Amsterdam

Sunday marked the start of the holidays in the Netherlands with the arrival, in Amsterdam, of Sinterklaas and the Zwarte Pieten. This moment is the equivalent of seeing Santa Clause arrive at the end of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

However, instead of short, pointy-eared elves… the Dutch “Santa” arrives with his Moorish helpers, the Zwarte Pieten (Black Peters).

Seeing men, women and children wearing black-face make-up may make Americans uncomfortable… Dressing as a Zwarte Piet may seem racially insensitive. However, it is done in good spirit and affectionatly… the same way one might paint their face green and dress like a Leprechaun for St. Patrick’s Day.

Check out a previous post, “Oh Little Town of Amsterdam to learn more about the Dutch Sinterklaas the precursor of the American Santa Clause.

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