Every year, on November 11th, children from kindergarten to primary school age will walk door to door with their paper lanterns, singing Sint Maarten songs. In return, they will get some candy or fruit. The latter is not that popular I can tell you from experience…

Tips and ‘Nice To Know’ Facts

Here are some tips and nice-to-know facts if you are not familiar with the Sint Maarten celebration yet.

Handy tips for parents

Tip 1

Don’t forget a bag. The bag is a ‘must-have’. It’s highly needed to put all the candy in…

Tip 2 

Does your child have a lantern? Make sure you have a light for it. Double-check whether the light is working before your child steps out of the door. An illuminated lantern is more festive Make sure you have enough batteries in store, just in case.

Tip 3

Ask your kids’ friends to join in. Singing from door to door with friends is much more fun. Make sure you have made arrangements with other parents in time to walk together.

Tip 4

Do you expect children to sing at your door? Think of tangerines or pre-packaged candy as treats.

Sint Maarten | Historical Facts

Sint Maarten was born in 316 in Hungary as the son of a Roman officer in the army. Years later, he became the bishop of Tours, France.

A Famous Legend

Once during a snowstorm, Sint Maarten cut his cloak in half to share it with a beggar and save his life. That night, he dreamt of Jesus, wearing the half-cloak, saying to the angels: ‘Here is Maarten, the Roman soldier, who is now baptized, he has clothed me.’

More About Sint Maarten

Sint Maarten died on November 8th, 397, and was buried three days later on November 11.

In 650, Martinus as he was also named, was canonized as a saint by the Vatican.

Over the years int Maarten was and still is worshipped in a lot of European countries.

In the Netherlands Sint Maarten is mostly celebrated in the provinces of Limburg, Noord-Holland, Friesland, Drenthe, and Groningen.

A few of the oldest Dutch churches are dedicated to him, e.g. the Martini church in Groningen and the Dom church in Utrecht.

Also, a few villages are named after him, e.g. Maartensdijk, in the province of Utrecht, and Sint- Maartensdijk, in the province of Zeeland.


Sint Maarten Songs