Today, the 11th of November is the day the Dutch celebrate Sint Maarten.

Sint Maarten, or to give his Anglicised name, Saint Martin (316 – 11 November 397), was the Bishop of Tours back in his day. His main claim to fame is the legend, that once during a snowstorm, he cut his cloak in half to share with a beggar, who would otherwise have frozen to death.

To celebrate the day, the children, carrying lanterns, go from door to door, singing particular Sint Maarten songs, and then get given sweets in return.

This custom might be sounding suspiciously like what happens on Halloween, which, in general, the Dutch don’t celebrate, and only a few days apart.

In any event, it promises to be an interesting night ahead…