Sinter Mertens veugelke
haet een roed-wit keugelke
haet een blauw stertje
Danke Sinter Merten
Yesterday was St. Martin’s Day.
From the part of the Netherlands where I’m from it is celebrated with lights – mainly paper lanterns carried by children.
I remember going from door to door with my lantern, singing this old song – in our local dialect, hence the strange wording – and in return I would receive candy. Kinda like trick-and-treating, but without the costumes!
The story of St. Martin is about a Roman soldier, who became a Christian. One of the things that is celebrated during this day is the moment where he cuts his cloak in half to share it with a beggar, preventing him from dying of cold.
That is why ‘my St. Martin’s Day’ always ended in a big bonfire – symbolic for the beggar warming himself.
… but I mainly cared for the candy, hot chocolate milk and oliebollen – Dutch Donuts, without the hole in the centre.
The 11th of November is also the start of Carnival – at 11.11 on 11/11 exactly, eleven being the number for fools and crazies – we like to party in the south 😉