In Ameland they don’t celebrate Centerklass, but Klass Year

In Ameland they celebrate Sinterklaas a little differently. There they celebrate Sonclas: a mystery party where the islanders prefer not to attract too many prying eyes. Who or what is Sunneklaas? Why all this secrecy?

Many ghost stories are told of Sunneklaas

The wildest stories are about Sunneklaas. For example, women and children should be forced to stay in their homes. is not it? Then men beat them with sticks in their homes. This may cause injuries. “This is a medial expansion,” says historian and ethnologist Peter Jan Margery. “In Ameland, they prefer to celebrate Sunneklaas without strangers and because of that mysterious figure, ghost stories come up soon.” So it’s not quite as intense as stories lead you to believe. But how is Class Year celebrated?

Such is the case with Sunneklaas

Where most ‘widers’ celebrate Paksavond on December 5th, the Sunneklaas party on Wadden Island starts that day at around 5pm. From that moment on, women and minors remained in their homes, in the so-called “open houses”. This can be in someone’s home, but also in some public places. Some women secretly cross over to another house. Will you get caught? Then you will not be beaten, but will return to where you came from.

The joke is breaking the rules, although I’m not really allowed to say that out loud. ‘This tension makes the party so much fun,’ said Ameland’s director of tourist information Cinto Prosperi in 2011 v. NOS.

Meanwhile, the men of Ameland march the streets in robes and masks, often with sticks and trumpets. The intention is not recognised. While talking, the men let out a mad sound. In addition, music is played and played. Later in the evening there is an open house party. Women and minors can also participate.

Amelanders try to preserve their traditions

But why all this secrecy? According to Margery, the Amelanders are just trying to preserve their traditions. The fact that the Sinterklass tradition originated in Ameland and is still celebrated has something to do with the fact that Ameland is an island. As a result, the party is less susceptible to changes and influences from the outside, and traditions can be preserved for a longer period. It is therefore not surprising that the Amelanders prefer to keep Sunneklaas to themselves.

In addition, the men of Ameland put a lot of effort into their costumes. They sort it out months in advance. Others try to guess your identity by gait or posture. This is nice because many people know each other in the small villages. When so many tourists are walking around, it becomes very difficult to get to know others. That would be a shame.

Sinclase history

It should be clear that Sinterklaas is different in Ameland. “However, this holiday also stems from the original stories about St. Nicholas,” says Margery. The good saint, besides a friend of children and protector of sailors and the poor, was also a marriage broker. An old legend tells the story of a poor man who did not have enough money to get a marriage partner for his daughters. As a result, the girls almost ended up in prostitution. Until St. Nicholas threw money through the man’s window, giving him a dowry to marry off his daughters after all. The tradition of chocolate coins also comes from there.

Until the 19th century, Sinterklass was not just a children’s party. The search for a suitable partner also played a role. Young men and women gave gingerbread men or love notes to those they loved. Now that Sinterklass is essentially a children’s party, this aspect has disappeared in most places. But in archaeological regions, such as Ameland, it is still part of the tradition. On an island with such a limited number of young people, it was important to keep those jobs,” says Margery.

For this reason, distinctions are also made between children and young adults during Sunneklaas. Courtship for young people. It is not appropriate to allow minors to participate in the game of seduction, which is why they stay indoors during Sunneklaas.

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