Each December in the ABC Islands - Aruba, kado ulang tahun untuk pria and Curacao - locals and tourists celebrate the traditional Dutch holiday known as Saint Nicholas Day. As the character referred to as appears each year to celebrate the feast day of Saint Nicholas, the fictional character of Dutch custom certainly bears a resemblance to the venerated saint. As the edition of Santa Claus is based in large part with this Dutch tradition, Sinterklaas can be known for his great white beard. Much as Santa Claus depends on the help of his elves to deliver gifts to all the world's kids, Sinterklaas employs several helpers referred to as Zwarte Pieten. Known for his or her black faces and colorful 16th century clothing, the Zwarte Pieten actually discovered their beginnings in a DARK AGES tale about the devil. The initial legend mentioned that on the eve of Saint Nicholas' feast time the devil was enslaved, evil was overcome and Zwarte Piet (Black Peter) found serve Saint Nicholas. In latest centuries, the legend came to state that the Zwarte Pieten's faces are black with soot from sliding down chimneys to provide gifts. Within the last few years, efforts have been made to incorporate helpers with different colored faces in to the legend, explained by Sinterklaas passing through a rainbow in his boat. In Curacao, keep your vision out for these playful helpers during the holiday and you'll be rewarded with a special treat.
Dutch tradition generally held that Sinterklaas sailed each year from Spain and was greeted with great fanfare upon his arrival. In Curacao, this custom remains intact and represents among the island's most exciting occasions for locals and tourists alike. A few weeks prior to the feast day, Sinterklaas can make his scheduled arrival to the island. Instantly later on, Sinterklaas and his helpers lead a parade through the roads, handing out treats on the way. In the weeks leading up to Saint Nicholas Day, Sinterklaas can be seen throughout Curacao in shopping malls and resorts, getting together with excited children and curious adults. Due to the holiday, many resorts and tourist destinations feature special events during the season and tourists are usually encouraged to participate.
If you visit Curacao together with your family during this holidays, you can also participate in the gift providing traditions of Saint Nicholas Time. While Sinterklaas is certainly in Curacao, it is customary for kids to leave their shoes near the chimney or front door each night. Current holiday tradition still holds that Sinterklaas and his helpers make a airline flight each night and drop candy and additional small gifts down each chimney into the shoes. You can also celebrate the feast day time of St. Nicholas by creating either a "present night time" on the eve of the holiday or receiving presents from Sinterklaas on the next morning.
In Dutch tradition, families often hear a knock at the door and discover a sack of presents outside for your family. If you are residing at a resort in Curacao through the holiday, the resort staff can assist you to celebrate this traditional holiday together with your family.