Most of the western world is well acquanted with the jolly rotund man we like to call Santa Claus, who visits us with his reindeer-driven sleigh every Christmas Eve.

Well, the Dutch do things slightly differently. Here, we have Sinterklaas who is the main holiday figure.

Sinterklaas visits the Netherlands every year, arriving in mid November from Spain on a steamboat, and is assisted by his “Zwarte Pieten” (Black Peters). His official celebratory day though is on the 5th December, when he delivers presents to children. This year, Sinterklaas arrives later today.

Instead of reindeer, he rides around the rooftops on his horse, named Amerigo.

Now, if his name, as well as his philantophic tendencies are not enough of a clue, both Sinterklaas and Santa Claus are, in fact, based on the same historical figure, and many claim that Santa Claus is a direct adaption of Sinterklaas.

The real Saint Nicholas (as us English speakers know him), lived from 280 to 342, and is the patron saint of children, sailors, and oddly enough, Amsterdam. He was a bishop of Myra, which is now in modern-day Turkey.