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happy holiday     

          Ever since I was a kid I loved the winter holidays, they gave me a good feeling. In those days it was about family, presents and the perfect atmosphere that surrounded them. For me in those days, it was magic. My parents tried for years to trick me in believing that there is a Santa Claus and Saint Nicholas, but I figured it out quickly.

        I’ve always considered Saint Nicholas a smaller holiday, with smaller gifts and less preparations. But since I moved to Holland, I got to know different customs related to it. So let me tell you a little bit about Saint Nicholas (or Sinterklaas in dutch). He is celebrated annually in The Netherlands on Saint Nicholas’ eve (5 december) and on the morning of 6 December in other countries. Originally the feast celebrated the name Saint Nicholas, patron saint of children, sailors, philatelists and the city of Amsterdam.

       De cand eram copil, am iubit sarbatorile de iarna, mi-au dat un sentiment placut. In acele zile era vorba de familie, cadouri si de atmosfera perfecta creata in jurul lor. Pentru mine in acele zile, era magic. Parintii meu au incercat ani de zile sa ma faca sa cred in existenta lui Mos Craciun sau Mos Nicolae, dar mi-am dat seama destul de repede.

       Intotdeauna am considerat Mos Nicolae o sarbatoare mai mica. Dar de cand m-am mutat in Olanda, am cunoscut obiceiuri diferite. Hai sa va spun cate ceva despre Mos Nicolae. Este sarbatorit in Olanda in seara de 5 decembrie si in dimineata de 6 decembrie in alte tari. Initial, se sarbatorea numele de Sfantul Nicolae, considerat sfantul protector al copiilor, marinarilor, filatelistilor si orasului Amsterdam.

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        The most interesting custom related to Sinterklaas dates from the Middle ages. Sinterklaas is assisted by many mischievous helpers with black faces and colourful Moorish dresses. These helpers are called ‘Zwarte Pieten (Black Petes).

        Nowadays the arrival of Sinterklaas is a huge event, broadcasted on national television. The towns are filled with people dressed as Zwarte Piet, with their faces colored in black, to look alike the original one (a Spanish, Moorish descendant).

        Cel mai interesant obicei dateaza din Evul Mediu, Mos Nicolae era ajutat de multe ajutoare rautacioase cu fete negre si cu rochii colorate maure.

        Astazi venirea lui Mos Nicolae este un eveniment foarte mare, difuzat de televiziunile nationale. Orasele sunt pline de oameni imbracati in ajutorul lui Mos Nicolae, cu fetele colorate in negru, ca sa semene cu originalul.

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        In the weeks between his arrival and 5 December, children put their shoes, before going to bed, next to a fireplace, chimney or radiator. They use to leave a carrot or some hail and a bowl of water for his horse and they sing a Sinterklaas song. The next day they will find some candy or a small present in the shoes. A lot of parties are held on the 5th of December, where treasure hunt games are played with poems and riddles. Children follow the clues to find little presents left by Sinterklaas.

        Christmas is a much quiet holiday in Holland, with a Church Service and family meal. Also the tradition with the presents is smaller, the children receive most of the presents on the 6th of December. Dutch children believe that Santa Claus comes from Lapland in Finland to deliver more presents, not to be confused with Sinterklaas. Many people in The Netherlands keep the tradition of having a Christmas tree in their houses.

       In saptamanile dintre venirea lui si 5 decembrie, copii isi pun pantofii, inainte sa mearga la culcare, langa semineu, horn sau calorifer. Obisnuiesc sa puna un morcov si un bol cu apa pentru calul lui Mos Nicolae si apoi canta un cantec specific sarbatorii. A doua zi vor gasi dulciuri sau cadouri mici in pantofi. Multe petreceri sunt organizate in ajun, se joaca jocuri, se citesc poezii si se spun ghicitori. Copii urmaresc indicii pentru a gasi micile cadouri lasate de Mos Nicolae.

        Craciunul, aici, este considerata o sarbatoare mai linistita, insotita de participarea la slujba si de masa in familie. De asemenea si traditia cu cadourile e mai mica, ei primesc majoritatea cadourilor in 6 decembrie. Copii olandezi cred ca Mos Craciun vine din Laponia, Finlanda, pentru a nu fi confundat cu Mos Nicolae. Multi oameni in Olanda pastreaza traditia de a avea un brad de Craciun.

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        The towns are already prepared for the holidays. I’ve visited Delft yesterday, a small town close to Rotterdam. This is a typical dutch town, with narrow streets and lovely channels. I can’t wait to go the ice skating rink and enjoy the beautiful things that winter holidays bring.

       Orasele sunt deja pregatite de sarbatori. Am vizitat Delft-ul ieri, un oras mic langa Rotterdam. Acesta e un oras tipic olandez, cu stradute inguste si canale minunate. De abia astept sa se deschida patinoarul si sa ma bucur de micile lucruri pe care le aduc sarbatorile de iarna.

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Am decis sa prelungesc giveaway-ul cu o saptamana, deci se va termina inainte de Mos Nicolae😀 (pe data de 2 decembrie). Va astept sa participati😀