Sint Maarten, or Saint Martin, also called Sint Maartensdag, is a traditional Dutch Festive Day. Saint Martin is celebrated throughout the Netherlands on November 11, but is especially celebrated in the city of Utrecht. Saint Martin is the patron saint of Utrecht. According to the stories, Saint Martin donated almost all his possessions to the poor.
Light Parade Saint Maarten Utrecht
The celebration of Saint Martin is in Utrecht a special, unique and colorful light spectacle. On the evening of Saint Martin, a parade with life-size illuminated lanterns passes through the city.
➔ Sint Maarten Utrecht – program
Saint Maarten is a festival where children go in the evening from door to door with lit lanterns while singing Sint Maarten songs and receiving sweets and treats. Lantern parades are also organized by schools, community centers, sports clubs and associations. Most cities and villages organize a parade of lights.
➔ Check the Parade Overview for Saint Maarten parades
Celebration to promotes the sense of unity and sharing
At the heart of the celebration lies the spirit of sharing and community, with neighbors coming together to enjoy the children’s songs and share the joy of the occasion. The streets are lit with the warm glow of lanterns, creating a magical atmosphere that adds to the charm of the event. Sint Maarten lanterns are often made together by neighbors.
On Sint Maarten, children often craft colorful lanterns or “lampion” in preparation for the celebration. These lanterns can take various shapes and sizes, adding a festive atmosphere to the event. Sint Maarten lanterns are often made together by neighbors.
Saint Maarten songs
The traditional songs sung during the procession often reflect the story of Saint Martin and express gratitude for the treats received. An example of a Sint Maarten song:
I’m coming to sing something for you on Saint Martin’s Day
Come sing a cheerful song on Sinte Maartenfeest
Festival of lights, lanterns
Sinte Maarten has started!
I sing my song and I ring the doorbell, then I have to move on
I sing my song and I ring the doorbell, then I have to go!
History of Saint Martin
Saint Martin, was born in 316 in Hungary. Saint Martin, also called Saint Martin of Tours, is a Christian festival. The anniversary of Saint Martin’s death is celebrated on December 11. The roots of the story of Saint Martin of Tours, a fourth-century Roman soldier who is known for cutting his cloak in half to share with a beggar during a cold winter night. Legend has it that Saint Martin later had a dream in which he saw Jesus wearing the half-cloak, reinforcing the idea of charity and sharing.
Sint Maarten 11th November
This tradition not only ties in with the religious roots of Saint Martin, but also reflects the Dutch culture of solidarity and generosity. It is a wonderful experience for locals and travelers alike to witness and participate in the festivities of Saint Martin especially in the city of Utrecht.
Overall, Sint Maarten is a cherished cultural celebration that combines elements of folklore, charity, and community spirit, making it a memorable event for both children and adults alike.
Making a light lantern, sculpture or Sint Maarten lampion
Wouldn’t it be fantastic to make your own light art or lantern? Look at this video and go for it! Wouldn’t it be fantastic to make your own light art or lantern? Look at this video and go for it! What do you need to make such a fabulous lantern: iron wire, willow, bamboo, rice paper, and wood glue?