Hoor wie klopt daar kind’ren? Hoor wie klopt daar kind’ren?
Hoor wie klopt daar zachtjes tegen het raam?
Het is een vreemd’ling zeker, die verdwaald is zeker.
Ik zal hem even vragen naar zijn naam.
Sint Nicolaas, Sint Nicolaas, breng ons vanavond een bezoek
En strooi dan wat lekkers, in een of and’re hoek
(Hear, who’s knocking children?
Hear, who’s knocking children?
Hear, who’s knocking gently on the window ?
It’s a stranger for sure. That's lost his way, for sure.
I’ll ask him for his name.
Saint Nicholas, Saint Nicholas, please visit us tonight.
And throw us some candy in a corner of our room)
Click here to hear the song in Dutch
How Kruidnootjes Were Invented
This old Sinterklaas song beautifully illustrates the tradition of throwing candy –kruidnootjes– into the room whenever Sinterklaas arrives at a home. But kruidnootjes and their predecessors pepernoten originally had nothing to do with this children’s feast.
Pepernoten originated in the Middle Ages with the arrival of expensive exotic spices such as pepper. Pepper was thought to possess aphrodisiacal powers and was therefore used to bake fertility cookies. These were thrown at newly weds on their wedding day alongside traditional fertility symbols like rice and flowers. This throwing of fertility symbols had also been part of an old pagan sowing feast that was celebrated at the beginning of December. The throwing resembled the farmer that sows his fields and it was meant to invoke good spirits.Under the influence of the Catholic Church the sowing feast had slowly been replaced in the 16th century by the Saint Nicholas feast. But traces of the pagan tradition survived by throwing the then fashionable pepernoten.