Another week, another diptych! This week the theme is celebrations. In many countries across the world there are celebrations this time of the year, and they're often quite traditional. For the Dutch there is the tradition of Sinterklaas, a.k.a. Saint Nicholas, who arrives with his steamboat from Spain, together with his helpers and white horse Schimmel.
Sinterklaas brings presents for the children who have been sweet over the year, and naughty children are taken to Spain. The other thing Sinterklaas brings, besides presents, is sweets: chocolate, taaitaai and pepernoten. Taaitaai and pepernoten, or kruidnoten, are sweet and made with spices like anise, cinnamon, black pepper, ginger and cardamom.
In my polaroid, on the right, you can see both kruidnoten and taaitaai, traditionally in the shape of a little man. The clementines in the photo are also traditionally brought by another old man, Saint Martin, on the 11th of November. Children go from door to door with their little lanterns, singing songs. It's a bit like the trick-or-treat kind of thing in the States.
Another funny fact about the Dutch and their Saint Nicholas; as this fest is celebrated on the 5th of December many people wait to decorate the house with a Christmas tree and decorations until the 6th of December. In Amsterdam, and some other places too, it's not even allowed for shops to sell Christmas trees before the date of 6 December...
On the left Andrea's polaroid of an American tradition: Thanksgiving! To read her story; please head over to her blog.
Enjoy your celebrations, people, wherever you are!