Each year the department store "the Bijenkorf" has climbing Black Petes going up and down in the atrium as decoration for the Sinterklaas feast of December 5th. Black Pete is the companion of Saint Nicolas who brings presents to the children every year.
This year I noticed a subtile difference, they had no face but a golden mask.
This is a picture of last year.
Traditonally Black Pete is said to be black because he is a Moor from Spain and accompanied the Bishop Saint Nicolas on his travel from Spain to the Netherlands dressed in colourful Renaissance clothes with black make-up and a curly wig. In recent years the character has become the subject of controversy here with heated discussions that Pete can not be black anymore in these modern times.