Today’s the 5th of December which is celebrated as the feast day of Saint Nicolas or Sinterklaas. A few weeks back I blogged about the ‘Saint’s arrival’ and finally the big day is here.

Although, from my understanding, a children’s festival generally, my Dutch friends seemed pretty keen to celebrate together. As the festival seems to be celebrated through he eating of a lot of sweets, I was not going to resist.

Chocolate letters are another common gift with this
‘B’ for Bethany coming from Leonoor

Historically, the poor children would leave their shoes out where the rich could leave small gifts in honour of Saint Nicolas. Now, children still leave their shoes out, in the home, in the hope that they will be filled with sweets. AUC also allowed students to leave their shoes out during classes in order to receive gifts and, although it was pretty strange to randomly leave a shoe lying around, Leonoor and my mother managed to talk me into taking part. Luckily, we didn’t take part in the aspect of the tradition whereby you sing to aforementioned shoe. I don’t think I could have done that 😉

After classes we all gathered at Leonoor’s where she put on a veritable sweet feast for Dania, Sonja, Thijs, Laura and myself. We all hung around and ate and chatted and celebrated in the not so traditional way with wine and beer but there we go!

This photo kinda explains itself really 😉

Of course, the evening only got better with the arrival of one of my old friends from college, Zoë, who, after missing her original flight, finally made it to Amsterdam. She joined in the fun and spent the evening talking in French with Leonoor who decided that it was obviously the best time to practice!!

Although Zoë and I left the ‘party’ a little early, planning to get a decent night’s sleep we managed to stay up until the very early hours of the morning chatting away. It was unbelievably good to see her again, to chat, to reminisce, to be around someone with a shared history. I love my friends here, I really do, but you cannot force the bonds that form with time and, for this reason, seeing Zoë was wonderful… but more of that later!


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