Celebrating Sint Maarten

Published on 9 November 2019

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On November 11th, as of 6 p.m., lots of kids, aged kindergarten up to primary school will walk door to door with their paper lantern, singing Sint Maarten songs. In return, they will get candy or some fruit. The latter is not that popular among kids I can tell from experience… 😉

No kids, but living in a child-friendly neighborhood? If you decide to stay at home and watching the kids doing their best singing Sint Maarten songs, make sure you have enough candy or fruit to give away.

Here some tips and ‘nice to know’ facts if you’re not familiar with the Sint Maarten celebration yet.

Handy Tips

 

Don’t forget the bag!

Where else does your kid has to leave the collected candy… 😉 A bag is a ‘must-have’.

Make sure you have a light for the lantern

An illuminated lantern is much more nicer. Double-check whether the light is working before you step out of the door. Make sure you have enough batteries in storage, just in case.

Ask your kids’ friends to join

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

Sint Maarten – historical facts

Sint Maarten was born in 316 in Hungary as son of a Roman officer in the Army.

Years later he became bishop of Tours, France.

A famous legend: Sint Maarten has once cut his cloak in half to share with a beggar during a snowstorm, to save the latter. 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.”

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

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

Over the years Sint Maarten was and still is worshipped throughout 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 or the Dom church in Utrecht.

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