from Aruba Port Authority
That is so cool!
Jacki ~ loving Aruba from NJ
That was great.
Next Aruba trip in
It is my understanding that Sinterklass in aruba is not at all mixed in with the Christmas holyday.
It is kept separate.
Not that the commercial side of Christmas is not present in aruba, just less than in here in USA
I think Sinterklaas was the celebration of St. Nicholas' birthday. He arrives just before his birthday & gives the children of Aruba gifts to good behavior thru the year.
Jacki ~ loving Aruba from NJ
i asked charles to give us the whole "story" re: sinterklaas.
if there are any arubans out there reading this thread and can contribute to what jacki and we already know......please tell us.
we'd love to hear of the traditions that go along with this event...........would we call it a holiday?
Sinterklaas arrives this Sunday!
On 15 Nov, 2013 At 07:15 AM | Categorized As Local | With 0 Comments
ORANJESTAD — Island children are eagerly anticipating the arrival of Sinterklaas and his Zwarte Pieten this coming Sunday, November 17. It was announced this beloved figure with his band of merry pranksters will arrive at Oranjestad Harbor at 11:00 AM.
Once he has arrived at the harbor, a motorcade will take him to the Playa Linda plein, the open area on Caya Betico Croes that was the former location of the Playa Linda Women’s and Home Department. A full day of fun activities for all the family is planned.
Sinterklaas was very likely the inspiration for Santa Claus, but is a very real figure, also known as St. Nicolas and in some regions, De Goedheiligman or The Good Holy Man, the patron saint of children, sailors, philatelists, and the city of Amsterdam.
Though there is some scholarly debate on his possible pre-Christian origins, it is acknowledged that the figure of Sinterklaas is based on Greek bishop of Myra in present-day Turkey, celebrations culminating on his feast day of December 5.
In 1087, his relics were furtively transported to Bari, in southeastern Italy; for this reason, he is also known as Nikolaos of Bari. Bari later formed part of the Spanish Kingdom of Naples, because it was previously conquered in 1442 by Alfonso V of Aragon. The city thus became part of the Kingdom of Aragon and later of Spain, until the 18th century.
Because the remains of St. Nicholas were in Bari (then a Spanish city), in this tradition St. Nicholas comes from Spain and has a black helper depicted as a Moorish figure of the Spanish court.
This is why Sinterklaas travels all the way from Spain to Aruba to bring toys and treats to good little boys and girls who are listed in the big book he always carries. Naughty children may be taken away in the bag of the Zwarte Pieten, if they are unrepentant.
Dutch tradition requires children to leave a shoe out each night, in hope of finding a pleasant surprise from Sinterklaas when they awake. Thoughtful house holds will also leave some water and grass for his white horse, who takes him on his round from house to house. This will continue each night from the time he arrives on the island, until his feast day, when most households conduct a big party for all the children. He will then quietly slip away to Spain until it is time to make the long trip to Aruba the following year, which he does without fail.
This is a huge event for island children and their parents, so travelers needing to make their way to the airport are advised to find alternative routes to the airport, rather than taking L.G. Smith Boulevard, particularly if you need to be there around noon to check in.
Sinterklaas is here!
On 17 Nov, 2013 At 08:18 PM | Categorized As Local | With 0 Comments
ORANJESTAD — Controversy or no, tens of thousands of Arubans lined Oranjestad harbor and the streets of the capital to welcome Sinterklaas and his Swarte Pieten upon their arrival from Spain yesterday morning. The venerated figure was officially welcomed on behalf of the Aruban government and people by the Minister of Public Health, Elderly Care and Sports, Dr. Alex Schwengle.
Youngsters and on occasion, parents, in colorful costumes expressed their extreme joy at seeing the beloved character and his merry pranksters dock at precisely on time, 11:00 AM. As Sinterklaas inquired of many of the children whether they were “bon mucha” (good children) his Swarte Pieten, laden with sacks of sweet treats, distributed them among the crowds.
Sinterklaas made his way to the center of town via L.G. Smith Boulevard in a horse-drawn carriage, to preside over various fun activities arranged through the afternoon on the Caya Betico Croes.
He will remain on Aruba through his feast day, December 5, visiting homes on his horse. His colorful assistants aid him in rewarding all good children with small treats and toys.
Each night they leave out a single shoe in hopes of finding a pleasant surprise in the morning. He is always grateful to those who leave some water and grass as a snack for his loyal steed, who is obviously overworked and needs the refreshment.
After the celebrations of December 5, he and his Swarte Pieten will quietly slip away back to Spain. Until then, island residents and visitors can expect to see the dignified gentleman making several appearance around the island, with his Swarte Pieten in tow behaving like mischievous, fun-loving kids.
More pictures at link:
Here is a fantastic link with lots of info and pictures!
In many places St. Nicholas is the main gift giver. His feast day, St. Nicholas Day, is December 6, which falls early in the Advent season. Some places he arrives in the middle of November and moves about the countryside, visiting schools and homes to find out if children have been good. Other places he comes in the night and finds carrots and hay for his horse or donkey along with children's wish lists. Small treats are left in shoes or stockings so the children will know he has come.
Where St. Nicholas is prominent, his day, not Christmas, is the primary gift giving day. Parties may be held on the eve, December 5th, and shoes or stockings left for St. Nicholas to fill during the night. Children will find treats of small gifts, fruit or nuts, and special Nicholas candies and cookies. St. Nicholas gifts are meant to be shared, not hoarded for oneself.
Customs Around the World
(Info at link as system would not let me post it):