Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Find Sinterklaas on his boat

Last Sunday we went to the 'intocht' = arrival of Sinterklaas. Almost every town in the Netherlands has its own 'intocht', the official arrival of Sinterklaas, preferably by boat. Old readers of my blog know I'm a big fan of Sinterklaas.. Every year I write about Sinterklaas and never get any comment, so it must be really boring for you. Nevertheless, this year, a short movie of the Sinterklaas intocht of Den Bosch. Try and find Sinterklaas amongst all the Pieten... It is weird because the one in Den Bosch is the only 'intocht' that I know of that has a kind of carnaval atmosphere. A mixture of the Sinterklaas tradition and the carnaval traditions of Den Bosch.

The 'intocht' van Sinterklaas in Den Bosch, 18 november 2007

This year, the intocht made me think about our own traditions around the Sinterklaas tradition. With some friends, we gather at around 11 in the morning at the same spot in Den Bosch and wait for Sinterklaas to pass by in his boat (see video clip). Then we go to the market square, to the pub, to wait till he arrives by horse, where he is welcomed by the mayor of the town. The program there is the same every year. The mothers have to sing songs, the fathers have to sing a song and the children have to judge whether the fathers sung better than the mothers (but they never do). Even though,the number of friends joining our group varies (as children grow up) we always stick to the same routine. You could think of a millions other ways, but somehow, it is easy to do the same old things. What could be reasons to change these routines?

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