My parents were not only here for Thanksgiving, but their first Sinterklaas, as well! It was nice to celebrate a traditional American holiday followed by a Dutch holiday.
Even though Koen and I live in Belgium, we still celebrate Thanksgiving every year. This year was very special – my parents were in town! They were able to bring decorations and ingredients with them from America!
Sinterklaas is a special holiday celebrated in the beginning of December in the Netherlands and Belgium. I love drawing a name and writing poems and creating the “surprise”, or handmade gift that embodies some attribute of the person. It makes it that much more special than just giving a gift because of the time and effort spent.
I’ve lived in Antwerp for over 3 years and never really understood Verloren Maandag. All I knew is that the Monday after Driekoningen, or Epiphany (Koen’s birthday) bakeries were open on Monday and closed on Tuesday (usually the opposite) and in every bakery there are mountains of appelbollen (apples wrapped in pastry dough and baked in the oven) and worstenbroodjes (sausage wrapped in pastry dough and baked in the oven). This year I decided to partake and learn more about the tradition.
Yesterday was a holiday in Belgium, Dag van de Arbeid (Labor Day), and Koen and I enjoyed the sunny 65 degree weather by taking a long walk around Antwerp. We walked first through the Groenplaats and the Grote Markt, then to ‘t Eijlandje. Not quite ready to return home, we decided to try out a new restaurant, Maison Clic’Eau, to enjoy a few drinks on the terrace.