Sint-Maarten in Haarlem

It’s once again November 11 and once again kids are going door to door singing Sint-Maarten songs, carrying their hand made lamps and expecting candy and treats in return.  It’s a much sweeter and gentler holiday than Halloween.  There are no scary costumes or decorations for this Dutch trick or treating.  Just nice songs about a Saint who gave to the poor.

So far tonight we’ve had about 6 rings of the doorbell and this year I’m much more successful at taking photos than last year.  My new Lumix camera takes great low light photos!

When we were in the U.S. last month everywhere we went there were huge displays of Halloween candy to buy.  We brought back 2 bags of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (the mini ones).  You can’t get them here.  We’re giving them away to the kids (ok, after reserving some for myself).  I wish I could see their faces when they try these unknown candies.  I’m guess quite a few will go “ooo YUCK!” but maybe some will think they are special and will like them.  Maybe I’ll start a craze.  The Dutch seem to have a thing about eating peanut butter only straight.  Peanut butter is BIG here, but the idea of mixing it with anything else seems pretty gross here.  PB&J?  NEVER!  Personally I like combining cultures.  One of my favorites is to take the Dutch tradition of chocolate sprinkles (hagelslag) on bread and making it peanut butter with hagelslag on bread.  MMMMmmmm!  It’s ALMOST the same as Reese’s.

Anyway, the kids are lucky tonight with the weather.  It’s been raining most of the day but it’s clear here now.  They are probably gathering at this moment down at the patat shop down the street.  After a hard night of singing and candy gathering, it’s nice to go to the patat shop and get free patat.  Yes, on Sint-Maarten, the patatzaak gives free patat to all the kids.  Haarlem is a nice place to live.

2 thoughts on “Sint-Maarten in Haarlem

  1. Lorraine November 11, 2009 / 21:31

    You need to explain what pataat is to your relatives. (grin)

  2. wiscjennyann November 12, 2009 / 12:26

    YES! Hagelslag met pindakaas! I cannot believe no one thought that these two Dutch favorites should be combined into a mouthwatering morning treat! Although, if they could understand how amazing it is I wouldn’t be able to get so much pleasure out of grossing out my Dutch friends at breakfast!

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