Crafting a lantern for Sint Maarten

On November 11, it’s Sint Maarten (Saint Martin)’ s Day. Sint Maarten is a great children’s event! Ringing doorbells, singing songs at the doors in exchange for a treat (sweets, mandarins or even some small coins) and – as darkness falls – kids venture into the night walking along a path lit with glowing luminaries, carefully carrying their lanterns.

Sint Maarten

Who was Sint Maarten, this famous legend? The myth is that he once cut his cloak in half to share it with a beggar, during a snowstorm, to save the beggar from dying from the cold. That night Sint Maarten dreamed that Jesus was wearing the half of his cloak. Maarten heard Jesus say to the angels: “Here is Maarten, the Roman soldier who is not baptised; he has clothed me”.

The moral of the story is about doing good and sharing with others.


Crafting your own lantern

The fun of this festivity begins with crafting a lantern (“lampion”). It can be very easy! Here is an idea.

Making a lantern from milk boxes

What you need:

– Utility knife (from X-acto for instance) or kitchen knife. DO NOT let the children use this! (Pipoos*)
– Colourful paper (Pipoos*)
– Glue (wallpaper glue is preferred)
– Transparent paper (Pipoos*)
– Crayons, paint, glitters and stickers. What you use totally depends on how creative your kids wanna be when decorating!
– Flameless candle or hanging lantern candle stick (Action, Intertoys or Blokker*)
– Strong ribbon/cord/rope to carry the lantern

Follow the steps below:

  1. The first thing for you is to decide whether the children will paint or glue the background of the lantern. If you choose to let them glue then it’s recommended to cut patterns, if the wrapping is already on the lantern. This is not necessary for painting because it is easy to go around the patterns.
  2. Let the children make patterns or maybe draw squares as windows and a door, so it looks like a house. For some kids (boys?) you could use the milk box vertically and put carton wheels on it. Then a car is easily made!
  3. An adult can help with cutting when using the utility or X-acto knife.
  4. Afterwards any decoration of the kids liking can be used to make a shiny lantern.
  5. At last the colourful transparent paper can be glued in the inside of the milk box to make a special effect.
  6. Let it dry for a while and attach a rope to hang the lantern on the lantern light.

Also a flameless candle with a long stick will do.


*These shops are located in the Netherlands. Look for more store locations, other than Haarlem, in/near your city on the internet. Any craft shop has this equipment.


So the kids are now ready to illuminate the streets; have a great evening on November 11 from 18 am untill 20 pm!


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