Sinterklaas has a long red cape, wears a traditional white bishop's robe and red mitre, and holds a crosier, a long gold-coloured staff with a fancy curled top. He carries a big book that tells whether each individual child has been good or naughty in the past year. He traditionally rides a gray horse and is assisted by many mischievous helpers with black faces and colourful Moorish dresses. These helpers are called 'Zwarte Pieten' (Black Petes).
Sinterklaas is the basis of the mythical holiday figure of Santa Claus in the United States.