Festive Season has begun
The festive season has taking a new direction since becoming a mum in the Netherlands. There are so many different and new Dutch celebrations to add to the calendar, it's just a pity that these are not official holidays though.
On 11 November is Sint Maarten. Honestly, a lot of people couldn't explain this celebration except that its similar to Halloween but its a Dutch festival where kids go from door to door with their lamps singing songs and getting rewarded with candy which of course the kids love. The differences between Halloween and Sint Maarten is that you actually work for your candy (some think) and that you don't get dressed up...so I was told.
OK, so I did some research on this festivity and thanks to Wikipedia have learnt that it is not only celebrated in Holland, but in other, mostly European countries as well. It is actually a religious holiday of Martinus van Tours who was a Roman soldier believed to have once cut his cloak in half to share with a beggar during a snowstorm, to save the beggar from the cold.
That is a very short summary of it, and of course over the years how people celebrate has changed and I also learnt that not the whole country celebrates this day, and while termed a holiday, it actually is not an official holiday sadly enough. Nevertheless, it is fun and exciting for the little one as they prepare lanterns at the daycare and also with the neighbours and practice singing and of course there is lots of excitement for the candy.
This year and last year it was pouring with rain so the very creative lanterns had very little chance of survival but this year we were prepared by wrapping them in cling-wrap foil to protect from the rain.
Lots of fun was had in the rain and now we can prepare for the next lot of festivities. Just one more sleep until Sinterklaas arrives in Holland...another Dutch festivity filled with excitement for the little ones.