Swap your sweets for sprouts this Sint-Maarten!

Swap your sweets for sprouts this Sint-Maarten!

The municipality of Amsterdam has published a list of some rather unusual alternative ways to celebrate the Dutch tradition of Sint-Maarten this year, without risking your family's health, keeping in mind the current coronavirus pandemic.  

Sweets? No thanks! I'll take a sprout

The list of advice includes decorating your home, garden, or balcony with lights and lanterns in honour of the day, enjoying a Sint-Maarten themed karaoke night as a family, or organising a sweet-hunt - a Sint-Maarten version of the classic Easter egg hunts. 

But what has caused the most shock is the suggestion that parents trade the typical sweet treat (that children receive as thanks for their songs) for a healthier option - like Brussels sprouts. The municipality has the following advice on their website: “Have your child sing songs at your own front door, just for you. Reward them with a treat or something healthy - Brussels sprouts, for example!” 

A healthy and coronavirus-proof Sint-Maarten

Perhaps unsurprisingly, many have taken Twitter to voice their surprise at this advice, with one person asking if it's a joke: ”Poor kids... so you’re sat inside nice and warm, and you have to go outside, you have to sing, and then you get a Brussels sprout from your parents, and then they slam the door shut?”

Not a fan of Brussels sprouts? Why not opt for tomatoes, carrots, or radishes! Luckily for the kids who do choose to go door-to-door, it seems that many find the advice ridiculous, and still plan on handing out sweets, with perhaps the occasional mandarin. 

The municipality’s advice comes after the security region Amsterdam-Amstelland strongly advised people not to partake in celebrations this year because of the risk of spreading coronavirus. 

Victoria Séveno


Victoria Séveno

Victoria grew up in Amsterdam, before moving to the UK to study English and Related Literature at the University of York and completing her NCTJ course at the Press Association...

Read more



Leave a comment