October 17, 2016

West-Friesland Halloween Fair

The sun was out and about pretty good last weekend despite the  chilly and windy fall this October. Sunny enough for a nice day out for a little walkabout adventure down at the Camping Ground of “The Golden Spot” for the West-Friesland Halloween Fair.

Even the sky made an attempt to be spooky

If you are reading Friesland as Fries (as in French Fries)-Land (as in Land Rover) then you’ve got the pronunciation all wrong. Try reading that again, and this time, say it out loud with “Frees-Land”. Pronounce the  “a in “land” as how you would read the “u” in the word sun. Got it?

Now, as for the word “The Golden Spot” mentioned above, that has been literally translated from “De Gouwe Stek in local Dutch dialect. I was told that the word Gouwe is a word play of:

  1. Gouden means gold in Dutch, but in local dialect, it is “Gouwe”
  2. “De Gouw” also happens to be the name of the street of where the camping ground is

The “G” there, needs to be pronounced with the typical Dutch “G” as in “ch” where you suddenly will find that you actually do have a lot of phlegm. The word stek is pronounced as “stack”. Easy right?!

Now, using what I said above as reference, say the words again below with the Dutch pronunciation:

  • West-Friesland
  • Gowden 
  • De Gouwe Stek 

If you miss your “Gs”, go back and try again. Remember, it has to be phlegm-ish thick.

But I digress; I was talking about the Halloween Fair we went to last weekend which was held 2 weeks before Halloween itself and what I thought was an occasion not celebrated here in the Netherlands. There would be no fair that we know of (so far, to date) for the 31st October. Hmmm…excuse me if I was a little confused.

Source Image: Halloweenfair-westfriesland.nl/

Confusion of pronunciation, timing and celebration-no-celebration aside, we all had some fun moseying about. The entire atmosphere was lively,  fun and well-organised.  And for a small town, I’d say it was quite an event too! I even thought I saw a media vehicle driving out of the venue and my MIL later confirmed that there was a coverage of the event on TV.

The little critters were playing games at almost every booth we stopped at, and every single booth would offer them candies after candies after candies. Oh yeah! Those imps were on sugar high alright.

They especially loved the Toverstokje Poepen (Magic Wand Pooping) where with a string tied around their waist, they’d have to get the stick inside the glass jar without touching the string; the Slang Happen (Snake Biting) where they’d have to eat that fat and long (and I mean fat and looong!) gummy worms on the string using only their mouth along with other throwing games. 

These Halloween Theme games were versions of Old Dutch games:

  • Spijker Poepen: Nail Pooping – as the name suggests, it would be using  a large nail
  • Koek Happen: Cake Biting – using a piece of cake

Then there were the must-haves “Spookhuis” (Haunted House), a make-shift eerie-looking graveyard with one of the tombstones bearing “Schoonmoeders” (Mother-in-Laws) as a marked grave, a Poppenkast (Puppet Show) along with a pumpkin-carving booth for kids to get their parents to make the traditional Halloween lantern for them amongst other novelties. Like food (my kind of likes!)

The Toverstokje Poepen Game
I did say those worms were loooong and wide…
One of my favourites at the fair: Schoorsteen Brood (Chimney Bread), Cinnamon Flavoured. A Hungarian recipe originated from Romania
Eerie-Scary Graveyard
5 minutes of silence from the kids as they watched the Puppet Show
This is a Papa’s thing!

It was a good family fun.  We did a bit of walking, the weather was nice, the kids behaved (somewhat!) and we all got the unnecessary sugar high.It was our first family festival since the move.

As if that was not enough, we went back home, I baked then picked up our bikes from the shed and cycled along for the very first time, together all four of us. We each biked on our own bikes to our parents’ several blocks away just to pop by ask for a tea-light so;we could light up that carved-out pumpkin.

One day of several first there! And for me, my very first bike ride on a Dutch road. Yay, me!

Posted by:    |    8 Comment
  1. How fun and learning Dutch along the way. Go you!
    p.s. a couple of your photos didn’t upload, but maybe it’s just my computer. I’ll check back in later. Knuffels en kusjes ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Hmmmm..i think it’s your computer…
      The Dutch language is surely “fun”. :p See you know a couple of words already, and I;m sure there are more up your sleeves! *muuuaaackks*

  2. Thanks for the Dutch lesson. It appears I won’t be learning it. It confuses me :): The fair looks fun! Sugar highs are necessary at fairs… I would love to try that chimney bread.

    • Most welcome, Eric. The Dutch language sure knows how to mess with your head. Mine’s still messed up! LOL.
      It was pretty fun for a small-town fair and it kept the kids busy for a few hours. Always a good thing. You won’t regret the chimney bread. They come in various flavours, I like the cinnamon sugar the best! Well, the kids actually ate most of it. :/

      • Cinnamon and sugar would be my favorite, too! I think my mom made something like this once, except she called it Monkey Bread.

        • You’d have made the best choice! Maybe your mom has a secret family recipe for Monkey bread! (?)

  3. Yaaayy! How’s the bike ride so far? Welcome to being Dutch!Looks like the whole family had fun and this brought a smile on my face. Hang in on there Ann, soon you will be caught up with Sinterklaas !:))

    • The bike ride was OK, Christina. I was more anxious having to mind the kids next to me at the same time when we go to the big roads to make sure they are inline while minding myself too. Otherwise, I do actually enjoy biking – just that I have not done it in ages!!!
      Sinterklaas is actually something very big in Silver Bullet’s family year after year and even Silver Bullet is looking forward to it! Probably more for him than the kids. :p


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