Sint Maarten | What you should know

Published on 9 November 2021


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’. Where else does your kid have to collect candy?

Tip 2 

Does your child has 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.

Sint Maarten During The Pandemic

Keep the group of children small. The same goes for the accompanying parents.

Buy prepackage candy.

Stay at 1,5 meters from the front door.

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 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 deidicated 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 












On May 4th, people in the Netherlands pay their respect to all victims who have died in wars or peacekeeping missions since the beginning of Worl War II by a 2-minute silence throughout the whole country.

This year a commemoration with the public is possible again.

National Commemoration

Every year at 7:50 p.m., the National Commemoration will take place on Amsterdam’s Dam Square.

King Alexander and Queen Maxima will walk through a veterans’ guard to lay a wreath on behalf of all citizens of The Netherlands. After this ceremony, there will be a 2-minute silence throughout the whole country.

Furthermore, public transport and road traffic will come to a standstill.



The main commemoration will start in the St. Bavo Church at the Grote Markt.

A silent march will start at the church, Riviervismarkt side, and ends at the Dreef. Here, victims of war will be commemorated by laying wreaths at the memorial of ‘Man in front of the firing squad.’

Commemorations will also take place on the Westergracht, Burgemeester Reinaldapark and Jan Gijzenbrug.

The full program can be found on this website.


Eerebegraafplaats Bloemendaal in Overveen

One of the many honorary cemeteries can be found in the Kennemer Dunes at the Zeeweg in Overveen.

This cemetery was consecrated on November 27th, 1945, by the reburial of Hannie Schaft, a famous Dutch Resistance fighter.

Three hundred seventy-two resistance fighters were re-buried at this cemetery.

Silent march to the memorial cemetery

From 6 p.m. to p.m 6:40 p.m. a memorial service will be held in the building of ‘Publieke Werken’ on the Brouwerskolkweg in Overveen
This service is open to relatives of the fallen and all who are interested.

6:40 p.m. set up of silent march right after the roundabout, corner Brouwerskolk – Zeeweg.

6:55 p.m. start of the silent march to the memorial cemetery

8 p.m. 2 minutes of silence

The silent march is a tribute to the fallen and thoughts about freedom and peace.

On May 4th, people can visit the cemetery between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. As of 7 p.m., the cemetery will be closed at 7 p.m.



Dutch flags will fly half-mast from 6 p.m. until sunset on government buildings. The same rule applies to citizens. For them, this rule is not a directive.

Broadcast on tv

NOS will broadcast the national commemoration ceremony live from 7:50 p.m. on NPO.