Sint Maarten

Sint Maarten or Martinus, bishop of the French city of Tours some 1,600 years ago, is remembered every year in the Netherlands with a festival reminiscent of Halloween. Once a Catholic celebration, Saint Maarten has been revived in recent years as part of a concerted effort to bring back Dutch traditions. At dusk on November 11 (the day the Saint officially died), children go from house to house carrying lanterns and singing songs in return for sweets. Every year there are stories in the newspapers about children who have had their sweets stolen from them.