Spiritual Notes from Robert
the protector of the children
the protector of the sailors
the Saint of Amsterdam
When in the Netherlands, in Belgium, France
and Germany Saint Nicolas arrives on the second Saturday
of November millions of kids are at the start of
a very exiting time.
Their shoes have to be placed next to the chimney
(wherever that is in a modern apartment)
with a carrot, an apple, some hay and a bit of water.
The traditional songs have to be sung next to the chimney.
The believers are convinced that the assistents,
called Black Peters (Zwarte Piet) are reporting
every event, also the singing and the waiting shoe.
The reward will be little presents the next morning,
and for sure the big Saint Nicolas presents,
on the Saint Nicolas morning at December 5.
Many of those presents are wrapped together with
the Saint Nicolas rhymes
which have to be read out loud before unwrapping.
Saint Nicolas in Driebergen
Saint Nicolas in Delft
Saint Nicolas in Almere
Saint Nicolas or Sinterklaas rides the rooftops
on his white horse accompanied by his black faced assistants.
The assistants are the eyes and ears of the Saint.
These black assistants are ofcourse the remnants of an ancient religion,
the assistants and Saint Nicolas belong together as a symbioses.
Saint Nicolas and his assistants are the friends and protectors of children,
traditionally bringing fruits and sugar candy and little presents.
Saint Nicolas also weighs the value of human life.
The big book of Saint Nicolas is filled with good and evil deeds
of all humans, out of which Saint Nicolas will read the verdict:
reward or punishment.
Saint Nicolas is also the protector of the sailors
far away on the oceans.
This can be seen on the backside of his suit:
Saint Nicolas arrives traditionally
standing on the bow of his ship.
The arrival is live on national television in the Netherlands and Belgium.
This traditional folklore is very ancient.
Hundreds of church buildings, many of them
from medieval times, have the name of Saint Nicolas.
Even cities got his name, like Sint Niklaas in Belgium.
Saint Nicolas is the official Saint of Amsterdam.
Although Saint Nicolas is himself disguised in
some kind of Christian outfit, it is clear that
Saint Nicolas is the living representative of the ancient religion.
In Canada the folklore of Saint Nicolas is in 2011
forbidden because of racial discrimination.
The destroying of the ancient religion never stops.
Centuries of Christian pressure
could not take away the common faith
in this protector of sailors and children,
the God with the eternal verdict of good and evil.
The outfit of Saint Nicolas proves that a holy symbol,
like a cross (the wheel of the sun?)
is somehow connected to Saint Nicolas.
In the legend are references explicitly to the Full Moon,
to heavy wind, but not thunderstorm.
Which ancient God is this Saint Nicolas?
There are elements of the German Donar,
also elements of the Greek Neptune.
In my opinion this is Jannus.
The ancient counterpart of Jana or Anna.
Anna is the Black Madonna of Europe,
somehow this is the reason for the blackness of the assistants.
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Updated August 12, 2012
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