St. Martin’s Day in parts of Belgium is celebrated like Christmas

In Eastern Flanders in Belgium, Saint Nicolas doesn’t come at all and neither does Santa Claus. Saint Martin is the one who brings the sweets and presents in the middle of the night between November 10th and 11th.

The sweets that the kids normally would get are: chocolate figurines, chocolate letters, little dry cookies with a sugar topping, marzipan figurines, butter cakes with almond filling in the form of letters, citrus fruits, and a special cookie in the shape of Saint Nicolas made of a spicy dough, and also some small hard round cookies with spices.

Children all over Belgium parade with lanterns when it gets dark, singing St. Martin’s Day songs. Here are a few in Flemish with their English translations…

t Is Sint Maarten
(Flemish)

t Is Sint Maarten
t Is Sint Maarten
t Is Sint Maarten,
Heel leuk feest,
Heel leuk feest,
Wij kloppen bij u aan
en brengen u een lichtje
wij lopen langs de deuren
en zingen nu een liedje
Speciaal voor u!
Speciaal voor u!

It’s Saint Martin’s
(English)

It’s Saint Martin’s
It’s Saint Martin’s
It’s nice to celebrate,
It’s nice to celebrate,
We knock at your door
And bring you a little light
We run along to all the doors
And sing now a song
Especially for you!
Especially for you!

The following song is to the tune of The ABC Song…

Dag mevrouw en dag meneer
(Flemish)

Dag mevrouw en dag meneer
hé hallo hier ben ik weer
met mijn lalalala lampion
van papier of van karton
met en lichtje mooi is dat
als ik klaar ben krijg ik wat
(melodie Abcdefg)

Mrs. Day and Mr. Day
(English)

Mrs. Day and Mr. Day
Hey, hello, here I am
With my la la la la lantern
Of paper or cardboard
With a little light, it is beautiful
As I’m ready to get something!

ABCDEFG
(Flemish)

ABCDEFG,
We nemen onze lampionnetjes mee,
en we gaan langs alle deuren,
om een lekker hapje zeuren.
ABCDEFG,
We nemen onze lampionnetjes mee.

ABCDEFG
(English)

ABCDEFG,
We take along our little lanterns,
And we go along to all the doors,
To nag a nice bite.
ABCDEFG,
We take along our little lanterns.

11 november
(Flemish)

11 november is de dag
dat mijn lichtje,
dat mijn lichtje
11 november is de dag
dat mijn lichtje branden mag
November 11th

November 11th Is the Day
(English)

That my little light,
That my little light,
November 11th is the day
That my little light can be lit.

SinteMaarten MikMak
(Flemish)

SinteMaarten MikMak,
Mijn moeder is een dikzak,
Mijn vader is een dunnetje,
Geef m’ een pepermunnetje!
Saint Martin MikMak

Saint Martin Jumble
(English)

Saint Martin jumble,
My mother is a big fat slob,
My father is a skinny little chap,
Give me a mints!

Lampionnetje
(Flemish)

Lampionnetje, lampionnetje………..
schijn maar in de donk’re nacht……..
Als een sterretje,als een zonnetje heb je veel geluk gebracht.

Little Lantern
(English)

Little lantern, little lantern
Glimmer only in the dark night……..
Like a little star, like a little sun, you have brought much luck.

Many thanks to Randy Welvaert for information about this holiday and to Monique Palomares for help with the translations.

My entry about The History and Traditions of St. Martin’s Day.

Here are two songs children sing in Germany for St. Martin’s Day, each in German and with an English translation.

A legend and a song about St. Martin in Northern France

Come visit the Mama Lisa’s World Belgium page for more children’s songs from Belgium and…

The Belgium page at Mama Lisa’s World en français for Belgian children’s songs with their French translations.

This article was posted on Thursday, November 10th, 2005 at 12:07 pm and is filed under Belgian Children's Songs, Belgium, Children's Songs, Countries & Cultures, Flemish, Holiday Songs, Holidays Around the World, Languages, St. Martin's Day, St. Martin's Day Songs, St. Martin's Day Songs. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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