Last Monday it was november 11th. In some parts of The Netherlands this day is celebrated by kids knocking on doors carrying a lantern and singing songs, asking for sweets. It’s called Sint Maarten. Daughter has been singing the songs all year long, after she became a fan of all the kids that sang at our door last year. Below Daughter sings one of the most common songs.
Translated to English, she sings: Sint Maarten / The cows have tails / The girls wear skirts / There comes Sint Maarten
As I have very fond memories of Sint Maarten myself and have been very very pleased this city celebrates Sint Maarten (Enschede did not) I couldn’t wait for Daughter to be old enough to join this celebration. As she knew the songs very well, I asked her whether she wanted to go knocking on doors herself this time around. Yes, she said. My heart made a happy jump.
One of the fun parts is creating a lantern, so last Saturday I took Daughter to the shop so she could pick a color for her lantern. Back home we built a pink castle. Daughter drew the windows, I did all the cutting.
And then it became Monday November 11th. It was cold, it was wet, but in a short dry spell I took Daughter by the hand and went outside. I rang our neighboor’s doorbell, Daughter …. sang. After a little encouragement.
She was overwhelmed by the whole concept, but loved getting the sweets. At our neighbours on the other side, she sang the whole song on her own. A proud mother was standing besides her.
All in all she went to four houses. That was enough for her. We went home, lit a candle to invite other kids and Daughter opened the door for them, handing them sweets. It was great fun. Back to parenting: rationing sweets.