The Sinterklaas museum in a car garage in Westzaan has been a phenomenon for years. The Fraij family’s hobby that has gotten out of hand can always be viewed just before the children’s party. Every year there is more to see and there is a new theme. This year the collection of a pastry chef from Rotterdam is central. “He was just as much of a sintophile as I am,” says museum director Markjan Fraij.
The Rotterdam pastry chef’s collection of wooden and aluminum molds for gingerbread, chocolate and marzipan is decades old. Markjan’s favorite is a wooden mold for marzipan from 1850. “That probably belonged to an ancestor of the baker.”
For example, from the permanent collection there is a Sinterklaas suit from 1938. “Just before the war. And perhaps also used during the war. We know that resistance work was done with costumes. Illegal documents were taken with extra pockets. A Sinterklaas was found on the street of course not controlled by the Germans,” says Markjan. And he can continue telling stories like this for hours.
He always celebrates Sinterklaas with his family: “My children are now 16 and 22, but just like me, they still enjoy it very much.” And when the museum closes again on Sunday evening, he is already thinking about next year. “The theme will be Santa and school and I have already received something for it.”
The Sinterklaas Museum is open today and tomorrow from 12:00 to 17:00. Entrance is free. Zuideinde 281 Westzaan.
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