Sinterklaas in Dutch and Netherlands, Sint Nicolaas, Saint Nicolas in French, Sankt Nikolaus in German, is a real life character of a kind and a wealthy man who loves to give presents to kids who have been good all year. He was born to a wealthy parent in Patara now part of Turkey. Sinterklaas spent his life helping people and doing good deeds. This is where the famous Santa Claus (fictional character) was based. Sinterklaas died on December 6 in Myra and became a popular place for pilgrimage, to commemorate his goodness they celebrate St. Nicholas day every 5th or 6th of December.
St. Nicholas day is well celebrated in countries like Netherlands, Belgium and the Dutch Empire. While Santa Claus is a figure of Christmas, the event is celebrated every 25th of December to glorify the birth of Jesus Christ.
Traditionally, Children put their shoes near the fireplace chimney before going to bed. They leave their shoes with carrots on it along with a bowl of water and hay for Sinterklaas horse. Next morning they will find candies or small present inside their shoe.
Sinterklaas treats include: hot chocolate, mandarin oranges, pepernoten, letter-shaped pastry filled with almond paste or chocolate letter (the first letter of the child's name made of chocolate), speculoos (shortcrust biscuit filled with spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, cardamom and white pepper), chocolate coins and marzipan figures.
At present you can enjoy speculoos (biscuit) in a form of a spread (speculoos pasta) and you don’t have to wait for Saint Nicholas day to enjoy this yummy creation.