Christmas Folklore, Legends and Traditions!
Like all the different varieties out there, the Dutch version of Saint Nicholas has many similarities to the fat man in red we call Santa.
Sinterklass makes his rounds in the beginning of December (around the 5th). He traditionally arrives by boat surrounded by his little racially insensitive black slaves called Zwarte Pieten (Black Petes). Apparently they ride around the village with a fleet of white horses, it’s not clear if the horses ride in on the boat with him or if each harbor has a new set for him when he arrives.
Sinter finds out who has been bad or good by sending his little henchmen chimney to chimney, where they listen and gather intel. He then goes around town giving chocolate to all the good kids.
The origination of Black Peter is somewhat cloudy. Early on, it has been said that Sinterklass was accompanied by a subservient, dark demon bound with chains, helping him do his dirty work of giving kids chocolate. Some early legends say that Black Pete was a Black Moor rather than a demon. So, basically Robin Hood Princes of Thieves stole the idea for Morgan Freeman’s character Azeem from Sinterklass. It would have made the movie more interesting if they would have given Azeem the same appearance as Black Pete; a white guy in black face with red lipstick wearing a renaissance style page uniform…
For highly informative articles on Christmas folklore follow the links:
Posted in Art, Christmas and tagged America, Art, Christians, Christmas, Folklore, Racism, santa, SinterKlass, Tradition by maroonbeard with no comments yet.