Haven't done any decorating yet as I should wait until december 6, the Dutch celebrate the birthday of St. Nicholas (Sinterklaas in Dutch) then.
But, who is St. Nicholas?
The Sinterklaas feast celebrates the name day of Saint Nicholas, patron saint of children. Saint Nicholas was a Greek bishop of Myra in present-day Turkey and became the patron saint of children based on various legends that include resurrecting children from death and saving them from prostitution.
Sinterklaas has a long white beard, wears a red bishop's dress and red mitre (bishop's hat), and holds a crosier, a long gold coloured staff with a fancy curled top. Sinterklaas carries a big book with all the children's names in it, which states whether they have been naughty or nice in the past year.
The temper of Sinterklaas also differs in the some regions of the Netherlands and Belgium. In the Netherlands Sinterklaas is usually a nice, forgiving person. In Belgium, on the other hand, Sinterklaas is less forgiving (like he used to be in the Netherlands). He can be quite severe and takes naughty children back to Spain when they were not nice. "Saint-Nicolas" rides a white horse.
The Dutch community in São Paulo celebrates the birthday of Sinterklaas, he is even coming to visit all the Dutch kids here! However, the Brazilians do not know about this Saint/children's friend and focus on Christmas and Santa Claus.
All around the city you already see big christmas trees and enormous decorations, yes, Christmas is a big thing here.
So let's see who wins in our house: Sinterklaas or Santa Claus???
I'll keep you updated!
Have a great weekend, C.