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2018-12-05 @ 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Executive summary: fake bishop hands out presents to gullible Dutch children, on eve of his presumed birthday; accompanied by Zwarte Piet (‘Sooty Pete’, the chimney sweep).
Traditional Dutch figure, reputedly arrives by steamship from Spain in the middle of November, supposedly the Bishop of Myra, accompanied by a band of local helpers who all happen to be chimney sweeps going by the name of Zwarte Piet (‘Sooty Pete’).
Children up to the age of about six are encouraged to sing songs and leave carrots for Sint’s horse at the chimney, the carrots will be collected, and sweets left in their place – supposedly by the chimney sweeps, in practice by the parents.
5 December, the day before this legend’s birthday, is Pakjesavond, when a mysterious knock on the door either reveals a bag of presents, or an Sint look-alike. These presents may be of low or high monetary value, most important is that they are accompanied by a Sinterklaasgedicht – a more or less rambling piece of poetry in which Sinterklaas – prompted by the Pieten – informs the children of what they did well and what not : seems those chimney sweeps have nothing better to do than listen at the chimney pot just at the very moment when parents berate their offspring, and brief Sint on what they picked up.