November 9, 2020

‘Replace sweets with sprouts’ on Dutch Halloween-like holiday

Filed under: Food & Drink,Weird by Orangemaster @ 11:31 am

It is not real news, but we still really like the story.

On November 11 Dutch children usually celebrate Sint-Maarten by going around town door to door at night, carrying hand-made lanterns and singing songs for sweets.

The city of Amsterdam would rather this not happen at all due to the health crisis and has made a suggestion that sounds more like an April Fool’s joke: replace the sweets with Brussels sprouts to promote healthy eating.

The idea is to stay home and celebrate with the healthy yet questionable-smelling miniature cabbages. The city is bold enough to suggest parents also use ‘tomatoes, carrot and radishes’ as well.

Maybe spend a evening doing something fun with your kids that doesn’t involve you checking your mobile phone, but that’s just me.

Good news is I won’t have to hide in my own house on 11 November. A Canadian like me considers 11 November as Remembrance Day, the day we commemorate the millions of fallen during the First World War, which the Dutch don’t celebrate.

I posted a picture of Dutch white asparagus because it’s really tasty.

(Link:, Photo by Wikipedia user Janericloebe who released it into the public domain)

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October 24, 2018

Bats stop Doutzen Kroes for renovating her villa

Filed under: Animals by Orangemaster @ 1:18 pm


World renown Dutch model Doutzen Kroes has to put her plans for renovating her 1920s villa worth two million euro on hold because a colony of bats has decided to move in. In the Netherlands, bats are a protected species and can’t be chased out of their homes.

Renovations were apparently set to cost one million euro and be finished by the summer of 2019, so that Kroes and her family could move in. The bats have thwarted any renovation plans for the near future, as the city of Huizen, North Holland were the villa is located, has put a stop to any works. Some sort of ‘humane’ traps have been placed in nearby trees to get the bats out, but nobody can predict how that’s going to pan out.

However, this does sounds like a fantastic Halloween house.


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October 17, 2017

American shop sells Anne Frank costume

Filed under: General,Weird by Orangemaster @ 10:59 am


American online shop has been lambasted on social media for selling an Anne Frank outfit as a Halloween costume, with the catch phrase “we can always learn from history”. In the United Kingdom, the costume is being sold as a “World War II refugee”, which also seems awkward, but less questionable.

The clincher is that the costume, featuring a blue trenchcoat, dark green beret and a brown satchel, has a plain brown price tag pinned on the coat’s lapel, alluding to Jews and possibly others being deported. If you make the coat beige and wear white socks with a blue beret, they you’ll look like one of the girls of the French resistance (not the communist one!) from the British series ‘Allo ‘Allo!, whose catch phrase is “Listen very carefully, I shall say this only once”.

The American website pulled the Anne Frank costume, saying it should have been sold as a school play costume rather than a Halloween one.

(Link:, still from ‘Allo ‘Allo!)

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October 30, 2009

Chips, Halloween, pumpkins and oranges

Filed under: Food & Drink,General by Orangemaster @ 8:00 am

I used to associate Old Dutch with a cleanser and now I discover that my Canadian childhood brand of chips (not crisps, eh) went from Humpty Dumpty to Old Dutch. Sure, the real Dutch people have chips (and don’t call them crisps, either), but Halloween chips is a North American invention this time. The bags are small and given to children dressed in costumes when they go trick or treating, which means going door to door asking for candy (and not sweets). We were the people that gave kids small boxes of raisins or pencils and erasers instead of junk food. When your big bag is full, you go home, throw out the stuff you won’t eat and sort your candies. My younger brother used to hide them and eat them all year round.

Right now, on every street corner and market, people are selling pumpkins to make jack-o’- lanterns, which are pumpkins gutted and carved to put candles in that give Halloween its look. We make pumpkin pie and dry the seeds and eat them. Pumpkins seeds are extremely healthy apparently.

Why am I explaining all of this? Because the Dutch do not celebrate Halloween, and although they do throw a few great parties for adults (and people, you really need to work on your costumes), it’s not the big deal it is in Canada and the United States. Dutch friends have told me that children of North American parents have a celebration for their kids, which is something they cannot skip. And in Canada once it’s over, all the Halloween stuff will disppear instantly in the stores and make way for Christmas stuff.

The market picture of these oranges in Montréal where I have been hiding for the last 10 days is totally unrelated and should be plural.

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October 16, 2007

24 pumpkins – visiting Canada

Filed under: General,Nature by Orangemaster @ 5:23 pm

We’ll leave the political scandals and rantings to the Dutch newspapers. Only two souls post at 24 oranges (we are always looking for more – drop us an e-mail – no really!), and one of them is enjoying a vacation in Québec, Canada, where these lovely pumpkins were snapped.

Canada celebrates Halloween, while the Netherlands does not. When the Dutch do try to celebrate it, they often take elements of Christmas and give them an orange and black twist, like cakes and gifts. It’s weird.

And then a note to those city employees that make so much noise blowing leaves in the street twice a week and in some places on Sundays:


They sell plastic garbage bags with funny faces here that look like Halloween pumpkins. They are more efficient, nicer and the kids like to help rake the leaves. It has to be cheaper and less noisy than those stupid blowers.

More real news tomorrow, although this has a Dutch-Canadian connection.

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