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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in the Netherlands Series at DutchPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Dutch holidays and observances. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 13. Halloween. In Dutch, this is [Halloween]
In this lesson, you’ll learn how the scariest holiday of the year is celebrated in the Netherlands, on the evening of October 31st.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question?
Which garden vegetable is frequently used for making a lantern in the Netherlands?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
Halloween was originally not popularly celebrated in the Netherlands. But as Dutch people continued to see it on popular foreign TV shows each year, the holiday gradually gained more and more popularity. Nowadays you can find Dutch people, or [Nederlanders] all over who decorate their homes with lights and show off their pumpkins, or [pompoenen], hollowed out with a burning candle inside.
However, it is not loved by all. In fact, Halloween sparks a lot of criticism every year in the Netherlands. Many Dutch think the holiday is too commercialized or in Dutch [commercieel]. Still, in recent years most Dutch have converted to become fans of Halloween, as the holiday fits nicely in between a lack of Dutch holidays between summer vacation and the Saint Nicolas holiday known as [Sinterklaas]. The Netherlands also has its own version of Halloween, St. Martin’s Day or [Sint-Maarten], which is celebrated about two weeks after, on November 11. As with Halloween, the kids go door to door with lanterns, singing special St. Martin's Day songs for candy.
You can also find many Halloween-themed events in the Netherlands, like the popular Halloween Fright Nights at the well-known Walibi amusement park in Flevoland. Attractions are opened in the evenings and after 6 p.m. and “scare actors” come out to try and scare unsuspecting visitors. During these Fright Nights, there are several popular Halloween shows, such as the Haunted Houses, or [spookhuis].
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
Which garden vegetable is frequently used for making a lantern in the Netherlands?
The answer is a pumpkin of course! A hollowed-out pumpkin with a candle inside is an international symbol of Halloween. Around October, you’ll see this symbol all over the Netherlands too, but some Dutch people also hollow out a sugar beet, or [suikerbiet], to use as lanterns!
What did you think of this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
What costumes do you usually wear for Halloween? What will you dress up as this year?
Leave us your comments on DutchPod101.com, and we'll see you in the next lesson.