That (I hope) is ‘Happy St Nicholas’ Day’ in Dutch.
Because today, December 6th, is St. Nicholas Day, and in some ways it’s more important than Christmas Day in Holland. The Dutch ‘Sinter Claes’ (or Sinterklaas)…well, I shouldn’t need to spell it out that this is where this…
…jolly gentleman gets his name!
Incidentally, Sinterklaas has a helper called ‘Black Pete’, and this has become a topic of debate in recent years as to whether Black Pete (‘zwaarte Piet’ in Dutch) is a racist or derogatory term, and portrayal, particularly as the character was often played by a white person ‘blacked up’.
The saint is also celebrated (also with gifts) in the likes of Poland, as Dzien Swietego Mikolaja. Historically, in Poland, children would be tested on their knowledge of the catechism, and rewarded with ‘pierniczki’, cookies in the shape of St.Nicholas (a bit like gingerbread men).
How do I know this? I’ve just read a notecard from SLN publisher Howie, who is a noted Hollandophile or Nederlandophile, and is hosting a St Nicholas Day Party at his SL home. I’ve managed to grab a couple of photos of early arrivals from Harry, who has opted to be in residence all evening! and plans to be partying with Howie’s naturist pals for most of the night. I, sadly, have RL commitments (it’s approaching Christmas and parenting requirements to concerts, providing a taxi service and so on preclude me having much of a presence there tonight!)
Expect, however, to see an elongated, collective piece (and photo essay) from the staff in the next couple of days about the party, along with what I expect will be a fairly lengthy and comprehensive report from tonight’s premier SL naturist party!