Saturday, October 31, 2009

Do the Dutch Celebrate 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 only wear masks, no costumes. And instead of saying trick or treat, they sing songs for candy, at all of their neighbors. They get as much or more candy then I did as a kid here. So, I guess they do celebrate Halloween!

But why on November 11th?

It's not called Halloween in Holland, but St. Martin. It's actually a religious holiday if I'm not mistaken, but kids do go around and sing for candy in masks. It has nothing to do with scaring or horror.

Here is what I found out about St. Martin: 
This is the story of why the dutch celebrate Saint Martin. 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 they celebrate Saint Martin's Day. (Halloween)

Saint Martin's Day, November 11th, is a celebration in Holland very much like "trick-or-treat" in England and the US . People in Holland go around getting treats by ringing on some doorbells singing songs for which they are given sweets or tangerines. They go around with lanterns and here is one 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.

Words to Sint Maarten Song

Sint Maarten, Sint Maarten,
De koeien hebben staarten,
De meisjes hebben rokjes aan,
Daar komt Sint Martinus aan! 


  1. We actually do celebrate Halloween as well, kids just don't often trick or treat, they usually go to Halloween parties and there are walks in a forest with people who're dressed up to scare them on their way.

    1. when u say celebrate it's not like in english speaker countries were it's a big cultural thing

  2. this information was very important for me thanks .:)

  3. thank you! trying to learn about my culture