Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Lanterns , Sweets And Silly Songs

Sonata :

Here I am , all ready for lanterns and silly songs .

The evening of St Martin's feast day is celebrated here by children who go round their neighbourhood with lanterns they've made at school .
There's giggling and shuffling feet outside and it usually begins with
"Sint Maarten , Sint Maarten , de koeien hebben staarten ,
De meisjes hebben rokjes aan , de jongens hebben sokjes aan
Heir komt Sint Martinus aan ."

Open the door and there's a circle of bright little faces , wobbly lanterns and optimistically big bags . If you're lucky , you get another silly song after you've handed over the loot . Meanies who hand over apples or mandarins , the healthy alternative , presumably get a raspberry once they've closed the door .

Lantern designs vary wildly from windmills or toadstools to goldfish . This year our playschool made these . I hope it earns them a surfeit of brightly coloured sugar and lots of praise .

P.S. The words of the song translate as
"St Martin , St Martin , the cows have tails ,
the girls have skirts on , the boys have socks on ,
here comes St Martin ."

Yes . It does sound better in Dutch least it rhymes !
But I'm not sure what it has to do with a Roman soldier who ripped his cloak in two to give half to a beggar .


rachel said...

What fun! And of course they must have brightly coloured sugar, not the healthy alternatives!

Anonymous said...

It just goes to show that these traditions crop up all over the place under different names but basically the same. Lots of fuss being made here about Halloween and trick or treating being American, but I wonder where it came from originally?

Tania said...

Detail Schmetail! Remember it's not about the Roman soldier or the beggar, it's about the brightly coloured sugar and the sugar hit that follows shortly after!

FWOG. A blog. By Fi and Wendy. said...

oooh yes, lots of sugar with lots and lots of red in it...