Sinterklaas (Santa Claus) i.e., St Nicolas

New Bhoiguda, Hyderabad Dec. 8: For the children in Netherlands 5th December is an important day. They celebrate and commemorate the arrival Saint Nicholas (Sinterklaas in English we call ‘Santa Claus’). Saint Nicholas was a Catholic bishop from Spain who helped the needy and poor. The tradition says he visits Netherlands once a year before Christmas. After his death, the legend of his gift-giving grew. Since we had YaR day on 5th and 6thDecember 2015, St. Nicolas day was celebrated on 8th December 2015 with the boys at Don Bosco Navajeevan, New Bhoiguda.

Our two Dutch volunteers, Camille and Sanne, could not celebrate this feast with their Dutch family and friends this year and do not want to miss this traditional feast celebrated in their country, they celebrated with the boys at DBNJ, New Bhoiguda. Our volunteers made the celebration more interesting by organizing some activities. Prior to the celebration all the boys had to put one shoe in the dining hall. The following night Saint Nicholas probably was riding on his horse on top of this Don Bosco home and put some sweets in the shoes. And yes he did!

The celebration itself was like in the Netherlands. Saint Nicholas and his helper, zwarte piet (meaning Black Peter), arrived and invited some boys to come in front of the group to show their talents. In the story about Saint Nicholas he knows everything about every child. 

To make more interesting Sanne and Camille started the preparations two weeks before the celebrations all the boys had to write their name on a piece of paper and put it in a box. After that, they had to pick up from the box one name and keep it as a ‘secret friend’. Next they had to prepare a poem for the person on this piece of paper and buy a little present. On the evening there were collection of poems and presents in the middle of the boys. One by one they read a poem out loud for the whole group. During the evening typical Dutch Saint Nicholas sweets, called ‘pepernoten’, were moving through the hall. Everybody enjoyed and as usual in DBNJ style concluded with common dance by all the children. We thank Sanne and Camille for their thoughtfulness to celebrate this traditional feast with our boys.