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Festivals of Western Europe

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Author Topic: Festivals of Western Europe  (Read 3213 times)
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« Reply #15 on: April 29, 2009, 01:29:26 pm »

SINT MAARTENS DAG (Saint Martin's Day) November 11

    Saint Martin is a popular saint to whom over four hundred Belgian churches are dedicated. His day is greatly anticipated by Belgian boys and girls, who celebrate the festival with processions, bonfires and general merrymaking.

    In some part of the country Saint Martin, like Saint Nicholas, calls in person on the feast day Eve and brings gifts to the children.

    If the boys and girls have been good he bestows apples and goodies; but if they have been bad he suggestively throws a whip on the floor.

    On the saint's day handfuls of apples and nuts are often tossed into the room while the boys and girls stand with faces turned toward the wall. In Veurne, Bruges and some other towns children carrying lighted lanterns march through the streets at nightfall. The young people sing Saint Martin songs and ask for gifts of goodies. Gauffres, little waffle-like cakes, are particularly popular on Saint Martin's Day.

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