Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sinterklaas Festival in Rhinebeck

Yesterday me and the missus took a ride into our hometown of Rhinebeck, New York to see what was up.

Just the usual. A dragon was seen flying low over Market Street.

Lenny's draft horses pulled a wagon around the downtown.
The stilt band played New Orleans jazz in front of the Beekman Arms. A dozen Grumpuses stopped traffic at the main intersection.

By nightfall the marching Highland pipe bands and giant snakes marched through the streets. Kids with crowns and decorated branches joined the parade.

And Sinterklaas arrived on a white horse in the old Dutch tradition. The catalyst for all this wonderfulness is celebration artist Jeanne Fleming and Wonderworks, well known for her Halloween Parade in New York City. She got thousands of people to work together for months building giant puppets and performing.

Main website for Sinterklaas.


Jen Z said...

Hey, that's some parade!
Also, why lose the beard? It didn't look bad, and it looks just about as cold over there as it is here in Germany.
Is Rhinebeck a Dutch settlement? The name seems derivative of some northern European culture. Anyway, it looks like a lot of fun!

Erik Bongers said...

I seem to detect the name of the river The Rhine in that name.
But 'beck'...I don't know...sounds more german...

And yes, Sinterklaas is a big tradition here in Dutch-speaking europe. We even have a city Sint-Niklaas named after him.

And you may notice that both his looks and name are not that far from Santa Claus.
Santa Claus = Saint Nicolas = Sinterklaas.

Erik Bongers said...

However, there is one big difference with the American version.
Sinterklaas not only comes with a white horse...but also with a black servant which we call 'Zwarte Piet' (+/- 'Black Pete').
For obvious historic reasons this is too sensitive for N.A.

Erik Bongers said...

My last post today!

But there's also the dutch family name 'Rijnbeek'.

Anonymous said...

Wow! You must live in a REALLY wonderful place! I would have loved to see that Parade!

rob ijbema said...

zie de maan schijnt door de bomen...
nice to see sinterklaas celebrated in other countries then holland...and have you been good,did you get lots of sweeties?

Anonymous said...

Yay! Dragon!
You know I completely missed the fact that it was the 6th of December. People also celebrate this here in Switzerland. I am tucked up at home drawing Dragons (as one does) and have lost contact with the outside world... must go out.

Cadet Declan said...

New Orleans jazz! Yay!

- Paul Hastings said...

Very Dinotopia-esqe.

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