Kruidnoten, little Dutch Speculaas cookies
At this moment, most Dutch children are really excited and nervous. Just two more days before Sinterklaas will bring them presents, that is, if they've been good this year!
Sinterklaas resembles the story of Santa Claus, they both come once a year to bring all the children presents. There are a few differences, Sinterklaas comes at 5 December (his birthday) and instead of riding a sleigh, he rides his horse (on rooftops!). Dutch kids leave Sinterklaas a carrot, for his horse, but I guess he'd prefer the cookies Santa Claus gets. And he too brings you presents through the chimney but instead of putting them in your socks, he likes to stuff your shoes.
Well, any place foot-related seems to be fit for presents according to these bearded generous old men.
Sinterklaas arrives somewhere mid November, giving him enough time to check out if you've been naughty or nice. And friendly as he is, he tends to put some small gifts in your shoe, usually sweets, to get you in the mood for the big party on the fifth of December. Every morning it's a surprise to find out whether or not he left something in your shoe that night.
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