Each branch can be seen as a symbol of the rising of life, through the tasks flowing juices. By joining with such a branch, the ancient Germans thought that the lifeblood would adopt the related touched humans, animals or the country. The Germans beat the branches on the field, because they so thought the country would thereby be fruitful.
The Sinterklaas song are very old and one of the famous old ones is:
Zie ginds komt de stoomboot:
Zie ginds komt de stoomboot uit Spanje weer aan
Hij brengt ons Sint Nicolaas, ik zie hem al staan
Hoe huppelt zijn paardje het dek op en neer
Hoe waaien de wimpels al heen en al weer.
Zijn knecht staat te lachten en roept ons reeds toe :
Wie zoet is krijgt lekkers, wie stout is de roe!
Och lieve Sint Nicolaas, och kom ook bij mij.
En rij dan niet stilletjes ons huisje voorbij.
(En rijd toch ons huisje vooral niet voorbij!)
(en rijd toch niet stilletjes ons huisje voorbij!)
The steamer is coming
from Spain to our lands.
On board is Saint Nicholas,
I watch where he stands.
His white horse is prancing
all over the deck.
His banners are waving
both forward and back.
Black Peter is calling
and shows his good mood:
“I’ve rods for the naughty;
and sweets for the good.”
Oh dearest Saint Nicholas,
if Pete and you would,
Please visit our house for
we all have been good.
From 1200-1300 was a teacher dressed as Sinterklaas came at the convent school. At these schools, the roe/rod was used as a punishment tool. As the roe was also used at home in the 19th century as a means of punishment. Especially at the beginning of the twentieth century, when St. Peter and moralizing were deployed, the roe waved enthusiastically around in both many a family and at school.
The roe is not used anymore, thank God, to punish children at school or at home. If you ask Dutch children what “de roe” is they probably cannot answer the question. In all new Sinterklaas songs the roe has no place anymore, just as many other things in old Dutch Sinterklaas songs. Today it is Pakjesavond, Present Night in the Netherlands and all over the Netherlands Sinterklaas will bring presents to all the children that have been good this year.
Of course naughty D/s couples can find another way to use “de roe”: for that girl that has been good! My Wanita and I will go next weekend for a weekend away to the woods and we probably will find the right twigs to make a roe. Knowing Wanita she will be looking for the best twigs she can find…