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! 

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Opening Night: Palazzo!

The kids (Anastasia and Max) and I in the limo on our way to Palazzo opening night in Amsterdam.

Our limo... dropping us off at the Bijlimer Arena near the Palazzo tents.

Ingrid and her parents... they live in Rodderdam, Holland.

Ingrid and I- I'm so pail white...gross!

Svetlana and the kids

Voronin and the kids

Peter the clown..he's too funny. He's from Seattle.

Voronin and Melony

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

My Bike- The Red Beauty

Needs a key to unlock the break in order to ride...

Sex Demonstration at NEMO Science Center for Kids: Amsterdam

 Well, knowing about the Red Light District (which I will write about soon) and the openness of sex in the Netherlands, it should be no surprise that children are educated at a young age right? I was completely shocked to find a Sex Education and Demonstration at the Science Center. Keep in mind children ages 5-12 and some teenagers come to this exhibit. I tried to snap a few images really quickly, I'm not sure I was suppose to take images.

Here is an image of what the NEMO looks like. You can learn more about the NEMO and the ship at:

In 1997, Queen Beatrix opened the Netherlands’ largest science center. NEMO is the largest science centre in the Netherlands. With five floors full of exciting things to do and discover, it is the perfect place for anyone with an inquiring mind. Everything in NEMO is connected to science and technology.


YES! Those are TWO GIANT TONGUES...I have never laughed so hard in my life!

Sex Positions at the children's museum. WTH???? If you look really close you can see a father and son inside the exhibit looking at all of the wooden figures and sex positions. I seriously had to do a double take, I couldn't believe what I was seeing at a Science Center. What are your thoughts?