If it weren’t for the festivities, what would the autumn be like? Wet, sad and dreary with the occasional leaf or two putting a bit of yellowish red in the picture. However, this image can easily be changed by mentioning one name – Sint Maarten!


From what I gather, Sint Maarten Feest is a European version of Halloween, taking place a few days later. When the sun goes down on 11 November, kids start knocking on the neighbors’ doors with handcrafted lanterns in their hands and Sint Maarten songs on their lips, hoping to get some candies in return. Nowadays lanterns are made mostly out of paper but originally they were crafted using hollowed-out sugar beet. In the past, on 11 November, the poor used to visit the farms to get some food for winter. Also, races were organized, with rowing and sailing boats gliding in front of the crowd’s eyes.

This year, Sint Maarten will be celebrated at Emma’s Hof with a lot of lanterns, hot chocolate, mulled wine and pure “gezelligheid”. The garden opens at 5:30pm, storytelling starts at 6pm, and the event ends 90 minutes later.


It will be a wonderful space for a wonderful occasion.

Emma’s Hof, Galileïstraat 36, 11 November, 6pm. Entrance free!

Photo and Photo

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