Stitch and Bear

A long-running Irish blog with reviews of the best restaurants in Dublin and throughout Ireland. Some wine and cocktails thrown in for good measure!

Monday, December 8, 2008

St Nicholas and the Manneken Pis

December 6th is the feast-day of St. Nicholas, with gifts being distributed to children on the evening or night of December 5th. It actually is more important than Christmas Day to children in Belgium. I had noticed gigantic St. Nicholas' constructed from speculoos for sale in some shops but I had no idea that the feast-day completely replaced Christmas as a time for gift-giving for children.

This weekend was my last weekend in Brussels for the time being, and so I decided to call to Pierre Macolini to pick up some nice stuff to take home. Pierre Marcolini is regarded as one of the best chocolatiers in the world, and I can tell you that his chocolates are damn fine. The shop at the bottom of the Sablon is always busy and Saturday was no exception. One quick stop and we were on our way with 6 chocolate St. Nicholas' for distribution to children, friends and family.

It's an easy walk downhill from the Sablon towards the Manneken Pis. I've already written about this little guy and I wanted to see him once more before leaving Brussels. It turns out that the Manneken Pis was celebrating St. Nicholas' Day - by wearing a St. Nicholas' costume. The big white fluffy beard covering that little face just cracked me up. He was utterly adorable.


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