Sunday, 18 December 2011

Between Festivities

I like very much the Autumn and the beginning of Winter in The Netherlands with all the season festivities: Saint Martin's Day, Sinterklaas Arrival , Pakjesavond and finally, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

November, 11: Saint Martin's Day

From Magusto 2011

This year was the most cheerful Saint Martin's Day that I have ever enjoyed! I didn't stop all evening. Many children knocked at my door with their paper lanterns, singing Saint Martin's songs. In the end of the evening, the three bowls filled with candies got almost empty! That means all the children have sung very well. ;-)

We think it's important to participate in our host country traditions. We feel more integrated in the Dutch society.

As you can see by the photo, we celebrated Saint Martin's day in a mixed way: Dutch pepernoten with roasted chestnuts, as we do in Portugal.
We didn't have água- pé, a low alchoolic beverage that we traditionally drink in Saint Martin's Day in Portugal, so we drank Port wine.

November, 12: Sinterklaas arrival

This year we didn't see Sinterklaas arrival in Almere Haven. We were very tired because of the improvements we have been doing in the house. We also have disassembled furniture we didn't want anymore and gave it away. This house is smaller than our previous one and we are struggling to have more space available. Besides, in the previous week to Sinterklaas arrival, I had participated in a very interesting Dutch course in Bussum. I must tell you about it later! ;-)

December, 5: Pakjesavond

From Natal 2011

We enjoyed a very nice Pakjesavond, eating chocolate letters, pepernoten and speculaas, according to Dutch tradition. However, we gave it a Portuguese touch by drinking Port wine. ;-)
As I told you here before, this time, I shared this evening with my beloved goddaughter in Portugal. Also with my mom, to whom I sent a Dutch umbrella as a Sinterklaas gift, perfect to face strong winds.
I think it's very interesting to share with my beloved ones in Portugal the traditions of my host country.

From Coisas Minhas - Chapéu de Chuva

We also enjoyed a couple of meetings with friends during this Autumn.
We met the newborn twins of a Dutch-Indonesian couple. I told you about Meiko, my Indonesian friend, before. Do you remember her Indonesian recipes?

From Coisas Minhas

Another very special ocasion was K.'s husband's birthday. K. is a Dutch teacher. Generally, we meet once a week to practice my Dutch so she can correct my mistakes and in return I give her Portuguese lessons.
K. is also Hungarian. So, for the first time, I tasted a homemade Hungarian Goulash. Curiously, it was made by her Dutch husband.
I want to ask her for the Goulash recipe but I will wait untill January. As I said, these are busy times in The Netherlands, with a lot of Festivities going on and for now our meetings are standing by.

From Coisas Minhas - Goulash

Christmas and Boxing Day

I already finished all the preparations. I painted the kitchen and the living room (this one is almost done). The decorations, the Christmas tree and the Christmas stall are in place already. Also my Christmas postcards are on their way. :-)

From Natal 2011

This year it hasn't snowed so far. I wish it had! I'm a big fan of a White Christmas!
We haven't had the time to go to the Christmas markets in Germany either. Some domestic issues to solve:a broken washing machine, the replacement of the kitchen's tap (I hope we can manage it to do it on the third time), etc.
Nevertheless, we are enjoying the season and we hope to have a quiet and cozy Christmas evening.
In the following days, I will publish some photos of our Christmas Stall (Presépio) and all the Christmas decorations. I also have a special post for Christmas Day ;-) Stay tuned!


Teresa said...

Lekker! Esta altura do ano é muito gira, agora com a David ainda a vivemos mais intensamente. Este ano para além da família vamos ter os nossos vizinhos/amigos holandeses a passar o Natal connosco e ansiosos por provar as iguarias portuguesas :)

Aledys Ver said...

I always miss St. Martin's Day, the Sinterklaas intocht (when he arrives in the NL in Nov.) and lately Sinterklaas as well, since I'm normally in Argentina during October/November/December.
Lovely food and decorations, Sandra!
Enjoy this week and the next as well!

Sara said...

Yammy! As minhas papilas gustativas estão para aqui aos saltos! :)
Isto de preparar o Natal já é parte da festa. Cá espero imagens do Presépio :)