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Public Holidays in the Netherlands

St. Martin's Day

Saint Martin (Sint Maarten) is celebrated on 11 November in various places in the country. Children walk past the doors with lanterns - similar to Germany - sing and receive sweets or fruit. St. Martin's Day is not a public holiday, but is special in honour of Martin of Tours. There are various theories about the origin of this day and the customs.

Sint Maarten is a celebration held every year on 11 November in the Netherlands, Flanders, northern France and parts of Germany. Each region has its traditions. Saint Martin is celebrated in the provinces of Noord-Holland and Limburg but much less so in the areas of Friesland and Noord-Brabant. St. Martin's processions are often held over a weekend.

The tradition is that children with lanterns pass by the doors and sing songs, after which they are rewarded with sweets. In many songs, little attention is paid to the religious background. The songs often have a humorous character and parodic or satirical lyrics are added to the repertoire yearly. Other traditions are the lighting of bonfires and the organisation of St. Martin's parades. Children make lanterns or entire light installations in kindergartens (kinderdagverblijven) and schools. In Utrecht, where Saint Martin is the patron saint, a Saint Martin Foundation was set up to promote Utrecht as a Saint Martin city.

Incidentally, the date itself is derived from the burial of Bishop Martin of Tours on 11 November 397. It is, therefore, the name day of Martin of Tours and is also called Sint-Martinus, Sinte-Marten, Sinter Merte or Sinte-Mette in the Netherlands.

Saint Martin in the Netherlands:

Sint-Maarten 2023 Saint Martin 2023 Saturday, 11th November 2023
Sint-Maarten 2024 Saint Martin 2024 Monday, 11th November 2024
Sint-Maarten 2025 Saint Martin 2025 Tuesday, 11th November 2025
Sint-Maarten 2026 Saint Martin 2026 Wednesday, 11th November 2026
Sint-Maarten 2027 Saint Martin 2027 Thursday, 11th November 2027
Sint-Maarten 2028 Saint Martin 2028 Saturday, 11th November 2028
Sint-Maarten 2029 Saint Martin 2029 Sunday, 11th November 2029
Sint-Maarten 2030 Saint Martin 2030 Monday, 11th November 2030
Sint-Maarten 2031 Saint Martin 2031 Tuesday, 11th November 2031
Sint-Maarten 2032 Saint Martin 2032 Thursday, 11th November 2032
Sint-Maarten 2033 Saint Martin 2033 Friday, 11th November 2033
Sint-Maarten 2034 Saint Martin 2034 Saturday, 11th November 2034
Sint-Maarten 2035 Saint Martin 2035 Sunday, 11th November 2035