Sint Marteen Feest

17 November 2014 by Natasha
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I’m familiar with kids going from door to door, shouting ‘trick or treat?!’ hoping for some candies on Halloween. However, this tradition is mainly celebrated in the U.S., not here. However a few days ago, I found kids going from door to door hoping to get some candies. Instead of ‘trick or treat?’, they sang ‘Sinte Sinte Marteen’.

Sint Marteen is known as the friend of kids and the poor. One of the most popular story of him is sharing half of his cloak with a beggar he met in the streets. On 11th of November, the Sint Marteen day is celebrated anually in The Netherlands and other countries in Europe.

I already heard about this Sint Marteen day but last year I was still living in a student house, a big flat – no kids came in the end. Now that I moved to a smaller house in a neighborhood called Selwerd, lots of kids came. It was really fun to see them joyously sing while holding their beautiful lanterns.

Coming to here Groningen has been really great since I got to know different traditions and be part of it. Not only the Sint Marteen day, there is also Sinterklaas (5 Dec) which also has a twist. Instead of putting candies in socks, Sinterklaas here puts them in shoes. The candies are also not ginger bread cookies or candy canes but chocolate letter, kruidnoten, peppernoten, etc.

People also put carrots in their shoes for Sinterklaas' horse

One thing that I'm sure, the kids here have a wonderful childhood!