Week 40

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Last week (Dec 6th) was Saint Nicholas Day a popular celebration in many Catholic countries with its origin from the early 4th century.

St Nicholas

The saint (Bishop of Myra from Greece today in Turkey) was supposed to put coins in your shoes if you left them outside your door. So the gift bringing tradition started and Saint Nicholas later became a role model for Santa Claus. Saint Nicholas is the patron saint for sailors, merchants, thieves, children and students in various countries especially in the eastern parts of Europe.

Legends of St Nicholas

There are several legends around Saint Nicholas the most famous is this one: a poor man had three daughters but could not afford a proper dowry for them. This meant that they would remain unmarried and probably, in absence of any other possible employment, would have to become prostitutes. Hearing of the poor man’s plight, Nicholas decided to support him, but being too modest to help the man in public, he went to his house under the cover of night and threw three purses, one for each daughter, filled with g old coins through the window opening into the man’s house. A variation of this story was that one of the purses was thrown down the chimney. One of the daughters had just washed her stockings that evening and hung them over the embers to dry. The sack of gold fell into the stocking. So now we all know the true story of Santa Claus with the chimney and the stockings, but what about the reindeer’s?

Christmas Markets are starting to pop up everywhere. It is a big thing also here in Brussels. There are several ones around the city, for instance the coming weekend try to find your way to Place Jourdan and have a look for yourself. It is supposed to be quite a nice one. There is also a large market tent at Place Flagey and around the Bourse you find a lot of market sheds. The usual stuff is on sale and you can warm yourself with Glühwein while you stroll around the market for some Christmas presents maybe.

Daffodil in December!

During a walk this weekend we even saw blooming daffodils in the grass; that’s global warming for you.

Santa with friends

Another Christmas Ale this time from a hundred years old brewery John Martin in Genval south of Brussels. The brewery was settling in Belgium in 1909, by the famous British  master brewer John Martin who said : «only connoisseurs can appreciate beers like mine». It belongs to Scottish-Newcastle group who have some famous beers in their collection like Timmermans Lambic, Guiness, Kilkenny and ciders like Magners.

Gordon X-Mas Ale

Gordon X-Mas beer is a English Strong Ale with a very sweet caramel taste. A dark and rich body with a spicy and fruity flavor. A little bit too sweet for my taste but definitely a warming Christmas drink.

Coming weeks:

  • EU continued
  • In search for the best beer (an on-going quest for the perfect pint)
  • More seafood
  • Cheese
  • Parks
  • Culture, Comics
  • Markets
  • Politics

Facts of the week;

Drink; Gordon X-Mas Ale 8,8%



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