From zure haring en broodje kroket to frieten en pralines. From fietsen and Koninginnedag to schaatsen and de Gentse Feesten. Here, you can ask questions about anything related to the Dutch or Flemish culture or share your experience with others.
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Post by maggsy » Mon Oct 24, 2005 2:23 pm

Hoi iedereen,

Coming from a country which doesn't celebrate Halloween or All Saints Day this will be my first Halloween! Can anyone suggest a Dutch or Belgian way of celebrating. Are there foods I can make?


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Post by Marco » Sun Oct 30, 2005 9:12 pm

Erm... do we celebrate Halloween? :oops:

If so, you could make something with a pumpkin, a pumpkin pie for instance. :)

On the 11th of November we celebrate St. Maarten, btw. :)


Post by maggsy » Fri Nov 04, 2005 1:54 pm

Thanks Marco.

I thought the holiday for 11 November was Armistice Day. What's the story behind St Maarten?

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Allerheiligen and Allerzielen

Post by Bieneke » Fri Nov 04, 2005 3:21 pm

Armistice Day
The Belgians do commemorate Armistice Day on November 11th. It is not a Dutch holiday because the Netherlands remained neutral during WWI.

Sint Maarten
The Dutch celebrate St. Maarten in more or less the same way as Halloween is celebrated in Anglosaxon countries (trick and treat). I do not know too much about Sint Maarten other than that he was a very generous guy who shared his mantle with a beggar when it was freezing cold. You can read more about him at http://www.meertens.knaw.nl/meertensnet/.... This is a website of the Meertens Instituut, which contains a wealth of information about Dutch customs. Unfortunately, all information is in Dutch.

Allerzielen and Allerheiligen
This week, we had two public holidays in Belgium, one commemorating the deceased, the other all saints: Allerzielen (All Souls) on October 31st and Allerheiligen (All Saints) on November 1st.

It is said that Halloween grew from 'Samhain' (Celts), 'Pomona' (Romans) and 'Allerheiligen' and 'Allerzielen' (Christianity) so it probably no coincidence that Allerzielen and Halloween are celebrated on the same day.

On Allerzielen Day, people visit the graves of family and friends. The entrances to the graveyards are cluttered with flower sellers. On All Saints Day, people go to church and visit their relatives (the ones who are alive).

Allerzielen and Allerheiligen are no public holidays in the Netherlands but they may be celebrated in the catholic south (Noord-Brabant and Limburg).

Soon, we will be celebrating Sinterklaas (December 5th). This is one of the most important holidays in the Netherlands. We have a lot of Sinterklaasliedjes (songs), which will be posted in the Dutch Hoekje.


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Post by tzt » Fri Nov 04, 2005 11:44 pm

Is 5th December a holiday? Are there decorations outside (in the streets, in city centers)? What do people usually do? Are there special foods?

Looking forward to my first Sinterklaas day in the Netherlands. :)

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Re: Halloween

Post by taminator » Wed Oct 01, 2008 5:48 pm

Though it may not be as big as in the UK or North America, I promise you Halloween is a growing tradition in the Netherlands! I have organised a party in Amsterdam for 8 years, and it now draws some 600 fully-costumed guests. About half are Dutch and the rest are from all over. It IS here, and here to stay I hope!! This year's theme for Halloween is the Mexican Day of the Dead. For more info visit http://www.boomchicago.nl

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