Monday, November 3, 2014

The Dutch and Halloween

The Dutch celebrate Halloween on the 11th of November instead of the 31st of October. The kids go door to door just like the US, except, they wear no costumes. And instead of saying trick or treat, they sing songs for candy, at all of their neighbors. 

But why on November 11th?
It's not called Halloween in Holland, but St. Martin (Sint Maarten).
It was a dark and stormy night. Martin was quite alone on that dark stormy night. He only had a cloak and a singular piece of bread. He was returning home when suddenly a poor and homeless man appeared in the darkness. Martin felt pity for the man and gave him half his piece of bread, and half his cloak and offered him hospitality in his home. 
Now he is called St Martin and is known for his kindness to the stranger. 
That is why we celebrate Saint Martin's Day.

Saint Martin's Day, November 11th, is a celebration in Holland very much like "trick-or-treat" in England and the US. Kids in Holland go around (often with a parent) getting treats by ringing on doorbells singing songs for which they are given sweets or tangerines. 
They go around with lanterns and here is one of the songs they sing:
  Elf November is de dag,
  Dat mijn lichtje,
  Dat mijn lichtje.
  Elf November is de dag,
  Dat mijn lichtje branden mag.

I did get a few Halloween cards in Second Life. Thank you my friends.

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