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Sinterklaas and his Zwarte Pieten

Sinterklaas is coming to town. With his red cape, red mitre and long white beard, he is scheduled to arrive by boat in Maastricht on Saturday 13 November. Mayor Onno Hoes and hundreds of children will be there to welcome the Sint and his helpers, the Zwarte Pieten. After his arrival at the Kesselskade, he will make his way through the city towards the city hall. It’s been suggested that Sinterklaas comes from Spain, but in fact the word refers to Saint Nicholas, who was a bishop of Myra in present-day Turkey. Sinterklaas visits the Netherlands every year from mid-November until 6 December, his birthday, when he hands out presents and candy.

Don’t be surprised if you see hundreds of people dancing and singing on the Vrijthof this Thursday, some of them in freaky clothes or with grimy faces. On 11 November at 11.11, the Dutch Carnival season will be officially opened with acts including Fabrizio – the typical Maastricht singer who also sang at the opening of the Inkom this year – and a whole range of Limburgse leedjes (dialect songs). For the main Carnival events, you’ll have to wait until March 2011.

 

It’s your chance to be a voyeur. In Love Dolls, held this Friday 12 November in the Ainsi (a dependant of the Vrijthof theatre), five dancers, three young musicians and a tenor will shed some light on the world of sex dolls. Produced by the Slovenian choreographer Duda Paiva, Love Dolls is a mix of dance and puppet theatre. In a chic club, hidden desires and fantasies become reality until the actors realise there is no escape from the destiny called reality. More information: www.theateraanhetvrijthof.nl

 

 

Wendy Degens

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