Some have suggested present day Zwarte Piet can be traced back and symbolized by two black ravens who were Odin’s informers. According to author Phyllis Siefker, children would leave shoes full of carrots, sugar, and straw for Sliepner to eat during the hunt and Odin would leave candy or gifts in return. This practice survived in Belgium, the Nederlands, and Germany, although it merged with Christianity to become present day Saint Nicholas.
For the last few years my sister Betty , Friends and I , have been attending the ‘Sinter Klaas’ Festival in Rhinebeck NY (it’s also in Kingston and Albany NY and other NY cities of old Dutch origins)…. we love it, and its become an ‘inclusive’ International celebration, including Native American, Caribbean and other elements.