November 14, 2017

Elf November is de Dag

If you are reading the title in English, then you might have already crinkled your forehead and wonder why Elf November hasn’t got any pointy ears and what the hell is “dag”.

If you are confused,  I don’t blame you. It does sound like English with bad, bad spelling, but isn’t.  Literally translated, it means:

  • Elf (eleven)
  • November (yes, it’s the same month November like we all know it in English) 
  • Is (yes as in the English word is)
  • de (the)
  • dag (day)

The entire sentence is a part of the many songs kids sing while going their rounds to collect candies during Sint Maarten (or Saint Martin’s) celebrated on the 11th of November. 

Needless to say, this one song has been in my head over and over and over in the last week or so:

Elf november is de dag (11 November is the day)
Dat mijn lichtje, dat mijn lichtje (That my light, that my light)
Elf november is de dag (11 November is the day)
Dat mijn lichtje branden mag (that my light may burn)

And if you read notes, this would be what it sounds like:



To the uninitiated, Sint Maarten is the Dutch ”Halloween” – all the treats without the tricks. 

There are no scary or funny dress-ups. Instead, the kids and kids only (accompanied by adults if they are younger) would go door-to-door with hand-crafted lanterns in their hands. (I wrote about this last year in this post).

Spud and Squirt, accompanied by their Papa then trolled strolled the neighbourhood; first at their Oma & Opa then followed by our own neighbourhood. I stayed home to listen to kids singing at my doorstep (every 5 minutes for 2 hours) and then offered them their goodie-bag loot nicely wrapped up.

We have pretty sizable kids’ population here. I gave away at least 35 goodie-bags!

Grubs and Critters Goodie-Bags! 


Not to be out-done, our 2 critters came back with their loot, with double the amount of candies that would last them for another year. 

All in a day’s work of a typical Dutch kids! Of course we’ve told them them that parent-tax applies.

The kids’ loot in less than 2 hours!
One of the first houses to endure their singing
Kids sing and Papa carried the loot!


Posted by:    |    4 Comment
  1. Sounds very much like Halloween without the costumes. Here the 11 of November is Remembrance Day. The day we honor, thank, and remember those who fought in wars and served in the military.

    • It so was! They don’t need costumes Just lanterns. And bags to keep the candies! LOL
      Much like a remembrance day I suppose, since it’s a day to remember Saint Martin.

  2. Robbie Cheadle

    This was so interesting, Ann. Lovely pictures too.

    • It was our 2nd year running doing this…the kids will do this for a few more years, I guess. At least I get to stay home and not out in the cold. :p
      How are you liking the traditional treat or trick?


Privacy Preference Center

Close your account?

Your account will be closed and all data will be permanently deleted and cannot be recovered. Are you sure?