Last updated 2 weeks ago by Michael Darmanin
Happy Sint Maarten! Due to corona, the traditional in-person celebrations of the Festival of Sint Maarten have been canceled this year. However, celebrations will still continue online and on social media. Checkout #deeljelicht on social media to see all the home made lanterns throughout the city or to even share your own. You can also watch the festival of Sint Maarten @ home at 7pm on RTV Utrecht.
What is the Festival of Sint Maarten?
The Festival of Sint Maarten is celebrated on November 11th every year. It is a day to celebrate the life of Martin of Tours, the Third Bishop of Tours France. He is most famously known for tearing his robe in half to give to a beggar during a snowstorm. He became well known as the patron of the poor and is now celebrated with a feast in multiple countries cross Europe.
Sint Maarten is also the patron saint of Utrecht which is why it is widely celebrated each year in the city. It is also why the Utrecht coat of arms is red and white with a diagonal line because it symbolizes Sint Maarten’s red robe once it was torn. During non-corona times, the Festival of Sint Maarten is often marked by children going door to door with paper lanterns, singing a song and receiving treats. Additionally, in Utrecht there is often a parade showcasing large lantern floats from various organizations around Utrecht. You can check out some of the creative floats here.
How will it be celebrated this year?
Due to corona, there will be no in person celebrations this year. To keep the spirit alive, you can make your own paper lanterns to celebrate with at home. Get creative and check around the house for empty plastic bottles, cartons, or tissue paper. We challenge you to be as creative as possible! Then share your photos on Facebook or Instagram with the hashtags #deeljelicht (in English: shareyourlight) #deeljeverhaal (in English: shareyourstory) so they can be shared with all.
At 7pm Wednesday the 11th of November, RTV Utrecht will be showing the film version of the parade on their website. This way, you can still see some of the lanterns, floats, and performances you would normally have seen at the parade. Also keep an eye out in the windows of houses to check out the home made lanterns made by residents around the city.