Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet
In the Netherlands and Belgium today, December 6, they are celebrating the arrival of Sinterklaas and is Moorish helper Zwarte Piet (Black Pete) arriving from Spain. Two years ago, when I was in Belgium, I was surprised and taken aback to see images of Black Pete. As one who took part in the civil rights struggle and has tried to always be politically correct with reference to all things "black", it was a shock to discover this much loved Moorish character that was the helper of Sinterklaas, the saintly bishop St. Nicholas. Black Pete is much loved by children in the Low Countries as he distributes candies and cookies and help Sinterklaase deliver gifts to every home.
Zwarte Piet (Black Pete)
The share a little in the public celebration of this holiday watch this video of the procession in Utrecht. Enjoy!
In reading a little about this holiday I learned the Canada made a contribution toward it when Canadian soldiers after liberating the low countries they held a Sinterklaas celebration for the children with many Zwarte Pieten present.
"Originally Sinterklaas was only accompanied with one (or sometimes two) Zwarte Pieten, but just after the liberation of the Netherlands Canadian soldiers organized a Sinterklaas party with many Zwarte Pieten, and ever since this has been the custom, each Piet normally having its own dedicated task."