Monday, December 6, 2010

Sinterklaas and Krampus

This past weekend we went to a dutch settlement called Rhinebeck a little north of our town. There they were having a Sinterklaas celebration. The Sinterklaas story is the same as the St. Nicholas story. Except for one big difference---the Krampus. The Krampus escort Sinterklaas around town and take all the naughty children away. In Europe this is serious business. They are evil looking creatures that carry long sticks around to actually hit people with. I mean they chase people down and really beat people with them. Sometimes they even come to your home.
But in America they could never get away with that---so things are really tame.
A couple of days before the festival Sinterklass arrives.

At Rhinebeck they call the Krampus--Grumpus. And they aren't nearly as scary. They wonder all around town and give the kids a little fright but are mostly just friendly.

The kids were frightened at first but got over it---kind of.

They had a band that followed them all around town and they would do a Grumpus dance that was very entertaining. During the parade they handed out candy to the kids.

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1 comment:

Ingrid. said...

I read you're story about Sinterklaas en the Krampus. Let me tell you, it is all wrong!!! In the Netherlands and Belgium, Sinterklaas is accompagnied by Zwarte Piet (Black Peter. Both Sinterklaas en Zwarte Piet are a childs best friends and they DO NOT take the naughty children away!! They also DO NOT hit people with sticks let alone that they carry sticks for that purpose. They give pepernoten (small cookies) and sweets and in the evening you can place you're shoe near the chimney with some bread, water or a carrot for Sint's horse, while singing sweet Sinterklaas songs. Sint passes by in the night, riding ons his horse, with Zwarte Piet, bringing small gifts. On december 5th, in the evening we celebrate his birthday with loads of presents. It is all about family and especially children.I think it is wonderful that you celebrate a piece of Dutch heritage, but please tell the story as it is and don't make something up!!! Look at you tube, watch the video's Dag Sinterklaasje. It may learn you a lot about this wonderful mythe!!