On November 11th, children go door to door performing songs with lit paper lanterns in exchange for a sweet.
Traditionally, children would sing religious songs related to St. Martin. Presently, children make up their own songs to perform, or take traditional songs and revamp them with funny lyrics.
As a reward, children get treats in the form of candy, cakes, or fruit. Although not as popular in major expat cities, in Utrecht you will see trick-or-treaters.
Accordingly, if you are living in an area where Sint Maarten is celebrated, consider having candies at home. Kids will start ringing doorbells between 7pm – 9pm singing tunes such as “st maarten, st maarten…de koeien hebben staarten.”
If you choose not to participate or have no candies at home, then it’s best to keep the lights off.