It Was a Dark and Stormy Night

[Dutch Lock Down Day Two Hundred Twenty Six]

Photo by Mel Poole on Unsplash

The first year we moved here I found out very early on that Halloween is not a thing here in the Netherlands and so I arranged a Zombie Pub Crawl.

We ended up with five pubs involved, starting at one that was large, bright, and quiet enough to make up as many people as showed up and make announcements about how it was going to go down.

Some of the pubs we visited even created special Halloween drinks or discounts just for us and as we went from pub to pub, people joined us, getting undead makeup because anyone can be a zombie with the right colour green and a bit of blood.

And the last pub had karaoke set up for us and anyone who wanted to join.

It was totally awesome and badass and, yeah, stressful.

And I never did it again.

But first the news:

As wonderful as the experience was, it was still an extrovert experience, and, really, the Halloween experience I miss from the States is one from my childhood – going door to door and getting free candy and swapping it out like mad to get the ultimate goody bag to last the next three months.

Thankfully, the Netherlands has Sint Maarten.

And I have three kids.

Saint Martin’s day, also known as the Funeral of Saint MartinMartinstag or Martinmas, as well as Old Halloween and Old Hallowmas Eve,[1][2] is the Funeral day of Saint Martin of Tours (else Martin le Miséricordieux) and is celebrated on 11 November each year.”

“The day is celebrated on the evening of 11 November (the day Saint Martin died) in the Netherlands, where he is known as Sint-Maarten. As soon it gets dark, children up to the age of 11 or 12 (primary school age) go door to door with hand-crafted lanterns made of hollowed-out sugar beet or, more recently, paper, singing songs such as “Sinte Sinte Maarten”, to receive candy or fruit in return.”

Last year was the first year that Arthur well and truly GOT it. He sang the song, he got his candy, he said thank you, he was absolutely JOYOUS the whole night.

The twins were COMPLETELY unamused and stayed home to give out candy with Papa.

But this year they actually made their paper lanterns at daycare and I think they’ll at least walk along as their brother joyously runs and sings and runs and sings and runs and sings from door to door.

Which means, since one parent will need to stay home to hand out candy, the other parent will navigate the street with three kids and not enough hands.

Wish me luck!

Yeah, sure, I’m not really doing much for Halloween this year, but I got to dress up as a skeleton and today a friend is visiting for a play date and First Minion is going to a birthday party where he gets to dress up, too.

So it’s here in bits and pieces and that’s okay.

Because I’ve also got Sint Maarten in just twelve short days.

And, yeah, I just might be corralling the littles in a skeleton costume.

Cause #WhyNot