Sinterkloas in Mestreech
Sint Nicolaas is a traditional holiday, celebrated in the whole country. At 6 december, children see in the liveringroom a table with presents, brought to them by the saint. In the weeks before Sint Nicolaas, children put their shoe in fron of the fire place and sing childrens Sint Nicolaas songs, as they can find the next day some candies (chocolade) in their shoes. Also Maastricht has his own “ Sinetrkloas.” It starts a few weeks before the 6 th of December, as Sinterklaos arrives on a boat at the river Maas. Children are all watching. Then this man, on a white horse, takes a trip trough the city. According to Sinterkloas only ‘ good’ children will get a present, ‘ bad’ children, who did a lot of mishief will perhaps be put in a sack and get deported to Spain. I now know that my high school English teacher – Perrey- was the one who always was paying Sinetrklaas. Maastricht has its own sinterklaas songs. I can remember that as a child we song to these typical Maastricht dialect versions of the songs, in staed of singing the Dutch. Most remembarable Sinterklaos song was – for dialect lovers still cult –
Sinterklaos, dae haet gezag
veer maoge sjpele, veer maoge sjpele
Sinterklaos dae haet gezag
veer maoge sjpele de gansen daag
(met allebei de heng sjliepend langsein houwe):
Krik krak sjiemela, zjeiemela, sjiemela
krik krak sjiemela, sjie—me—laa.
Whereas American culture imposes the Santa Claus as a new Sinetrklaas - also the man who gives presents to the children - in Maastricht they hope to keep the childrens celebration still alive. For the elder, they celebrate Sinterklaas at 5 th of December at the evening, exchanging gifts that are accompanied by poems, poems that are witty and personal.
Beer Saint and beer
in the middelages the beer brewers had their patron saints, on eof them, Sint-Arnoldus has caused miracles in the past in which beer had played a role. Arnoldus was a monk in a cloister and one day there was a fire, which could not be extinguished. Thanks to the prayer of the monk the brewery – of course traditionally located in a monastery (since monks were often beer-brewers) was saved. No wonder that Maastricht brewers choosed patron saints for their brewery. As there was the plague, Arnoldus just madea mixture of beer and everyone was cured. The patron’s day is the august 18 th, and this day is always celebrated eversince. Two beers that are less known, which are brewed in the region of the Heuvelland are Leeuw and Gulpener. Leeuw is locaed in Valkenburg and exists since 1886. Orinally founded by Dittman it started with a watermill along the river Geul. The watermill still works. The brewery gets its water from a well 100 metres under the ground. In the collection of Leeuw, the ‘ bockbier’ and oud bruin are the best. You can visit the brewery in a guided tour (VVV Zuid Limburg). Gulpener beer is older, it dates from 1825. It is still a family company. In its collection there is Mestreechs aaid (a must taste), and Gladiator (very strong, namely 10 percent of alcahol).
what to eat?
Some interesting local products you can taste in restaurants are the following ones. 1. Chervil soupe. (aromatic fresh chervil with croutons of bread in it) 2. Cave champions (these mushrooms come from the local caves and are prepared with garlic and herbs)/ 3. Bloodweurs. (sausage with apple and bacon) 4. Zoervleis (sour meat, preferable horse meat. The sauce is delicious). 5. Geuldal lamb (its meat like butter, so soft and it is grilled in rose wine). 6. Knien op zien Mestreechs (like sour meat: its rabbit with red cabbage, unions and French fries). 7. Geulforel (trout, freshly catched in the river Geul, served with green sauce). 8. White aspergus (with ham and egg, coming from Maastricht and surroundings). 9. Möffelkook (a traditional cake) With many of the warm dishes you can order a glas of apostelhoeve wine.
Andre Rieu op ut Vrietof
The Vrijtof square now and then, in summer, gets a stage for the concerts of Andre Rieu, the world famous ‘ stage geiger’ from Maastricht. Rieu has had hugh success in the Nethernads with his ‘ second walz’ – classic music made popular for a largu audience – and he became famous in the United States. He is the best export article in pop culture nowadays in our country. In Australia Rieu has reached the charts at number one, selling millions of records, receivng gold and platina records. And although this success, he stays a ‘son’ of Maastricht, giving Maastricht the ultimate performance: the whole Vrijthof square as a stage with an audience sitting at chairs at he square, with a beautiful façade, a great orchestra and a lot of wits. Although internationally famous, Rieu also works with typical Maastricht born artists such as Benny Neyman. When Rieu plays people are also at the terraces at the Vrijthof, hearing and enjoying theh music, dancing. That’s no where happening, but Rieu get I done. Rieu even does not intend to make profit he wants average pople to get entousistic for classicak music. At youtube you can see some nice videos of Rieu in Maastricht.
Talk to someone who knows ...
I guess we all agree on this on; there is nothing more exciting than going travelling - exploring another country, experiencing a different culture, travelling around in new ways, sampling the local cuisine and chatting to the local people for a different perspective on life.
However during our travels we learned that there is one certain thing that you should be aware of and prepared for to make sure that the trip is as easy and enjoyable as possible. We always try to see everything once we're there, but this is not always an act of responsible travelling. We always talk to the locals and we know that they have the information about just the right spots to visit and how to undertake them. It will not only enhance your experiences but also avoid any unnecessary hassles.
For us the travel tips we have written in this section made the most of our travel experience and we came home in the same happy, healthy state that we left.Related to:
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Historical Travel
Fons Olteridden (born in 1865, he was teacher, writer, organistator of big festivals and parades, director, comedian, art historian, painter, pedagogist, counsellor at the community counsel. He is a protestant who just before he died became a catholic. There is a statue of him at the Grote Lookijerstraat. ). Alexander Batta (He was in Europe a famous cellolist, he got the title of royal violinist by king Wlliam the 3 th. He was born in 1816. He also became commendor in the Eikenkroon (Luxembourg). In Wyck a street is named after him.) Simon de Bellomonte (He was living in the 16 th century and was famous for his town carts het drawed the oldest known city plan of Maastricht ne he made the well-known “face of Maastricht” – many Maastricht citizin have a copy of that hanging in their house – he was a member of the broederschap and tresurere of the same church, the Sint Servaas.) Charles Eyck (started his carreer in the twenties of last century. He worked a long time as church painter. He also did glas work and ceramics. He worked with the many churches and of course firms. In the fifties he was a famous Limburgian monumental artist. In the sixties expressionism won over church and monumental art, so he stopped and went on with more expressionist art. ) Johannes Soeren (born in 1868, he is the building pastor of the Lambertus church. He was also founder of the first building cooperation “St Servatius, responsible for cheaper social building. He also was one of the founders of “the ster” and he took initiative for the administation for Labour, the health commission, the foundation “De Stuers,” he initiated the local union “st Rafael and the for the national rairoad workers he founded a Maastricht divison.) Charles Vos (born in 1888, figurative style artist. You can see statues by his hand and reliefs. At the capucijnen straat no 118 you see his work, at the capucijnengang as well (at SKIM) Victor de Stuers (art conaisser, fighter for the conservation of art and monuments in Maastricht. Thanks to him many monuments got restaurated.) Hendrick Veldeke (born in Veldeke Veltje which is now Hasselt, lived in the second half of the 12 th century. He is the first poet who wrote petry in dutch. He wrote the famous “Servaaslegende”) Jozef Hollman (born in 1852, he was a musician, cellolist and composer. His most famous work is”le chat d’amour”, which is still played each year) Ruys de Beerenbrouck (born in 1873, a very famous son of Maastrich for he became prime misister of our country and was chairman of the RKSP, the catholic party, for a long time. He also founded the Limburg green cross and he founded the Katolieke Sociale Aktie a catholic labour organistaion.) Pierre Kemp (poet, writing in a lively style. Well known work of him are the Limburg Sagen book from 1925 he got the dutch lirerature price – PC Hoofdprijs – for his work). Minckelers (Born in 1748. He was a professor in chemics and fysica in Louven. He discovered the light gas. He first used coal gas for lightening. His statue is at the Boschstraat, also called the Eternal flame, since the fire is always burning. ) Melchior van Schwatzenberg (He was commander in service of the State. He led the defense against the Spanish and was of German origin. His family lived in Limburg since the 15 th century and had many belongings in several villages. He died during the Parma siege in the Brusselsepoort) Willem Vliegen (born in 1862, leading characrer in the history of the socialist party SDAP, and founder of the Maastricht division)
Maastrichts soccer club MVV (Maastrictse Voetbal Vereiging) has it’s stadion at “the geusselt” and is a soccerclub dating back from 1902. Untill 1908 the club was called MVC. The old days in the former Boschpoort stadium were glorious. The football field, called the holy “grasmat” knew star players such as Giel Haenen (1963, Sweden-Holland made 1 goal) and Jeu Bun who played in the national selection. In the new stadion, de geusselt, MVV had Eric Meyer as a starplayer. He played in the national selection as well and is now bought by a german club. For a long time Frans Körver was the trainer of MVV. Since 1954 the club played more than 40 seasons in the highes leage. The club is one of the eldets, the eighth one in ancienety. 1938 was a good season, the club played for the championship and the topposition in the first leage and became second, having 28 out of 20 games.
In 1943 ended as number 4 in the premier leage, the club gained 27 points. In 1945 the club became number 2 in the prime leage and in 19946 the football team had its best season. MVV got the top position with 30 points out of 20 games. 13 victories total. In 1949 MVV reched the 3 th position in the competition for the national cup. In 1992 MVV got proclaimed as “team of the year” because of it’s tactic and strategic play under coach Vergoosen.
On 30 april from 10.00 Heineken Queensday is celebrated in the Citypark. At the Our Lady’s wall there are many performing acts from artists. The whole day there will be great performances. Next to that there is a program at the culture stage. Several sportclubs and young beands will present themselves. And there is a DJ stage. In the park you can also find a Vrijmarkt. A market for second handed articles, that traditionally are taken from the attict and put on sell. There is a tent over a place whith snacks and drinks. Last years there were some 25000 at the park. The park can be reached by food from the parking garage at the OLV wall (coming by car). By walking from the Market-maaspromenade or LOV square-Helpoort. The organisation is in hands of dispuut Abraxis. As the Queen visited Maastricht on Queensday 1995, there was not that much of enourmous enthousiasm. At least less than during her visits in the North of the country. maybe it is because the bund between Limburg and the Royal house is less strong. One cant say for sure. Traditionally since the old days children celebrate Queensdays with lots of silly games such as egg-on-a-spoon running and bag-hopping. and there is a parade with decorated bikes for children. At evening there are fireworks above the Maas. For republicans, queensday is a nice day off to have some drinks at the pavement terrace. they wont spoil the pleasure....
De 11 vaan de 11
11 november is the official opening of the carnival season. The day starts at 11.11 am and ends at 20.00 at the Maastricht Vrijthof. The Whole province of Limburg is taking part this day with a non stop show of artists. The idea of celebrating the opening of the season in a provincial context was to remember Sjeng Kraft, the locall famous carnival music writer and composer. This tradition started first in 2000. At the Onze Lieve Vrouwe square some 3000 visitors apperard and the idea was a big succes. In the meantime the latter squre has become too small since there are now 25000 visitors, so the new location is the Vrijthof. Its clear that Sjeng Kraft is alife. Why is it the 11 of the 11 that we open the season? It has nothing to do with 11 being the fools’ number. The tradition goes back to the middle ages. In these days one did feasting before chrismass. Not for religious reasons, but out of reasons of poverty. One wanted to save the meat for christass and therefor one had to begin staying absend from meat at 12 november. The day before that, it was the last day to eat all the remaing late-date products in a partymeal. 11 was a good day since it feld together with Saint Martin. Interesting is that 11 november is a special day of celebration in other country’s. Belgium celebrates the end of WW one. Poland celebrates independence day, as well as Angola. And UK and US celebrate respectively Rembrance day and Veterance day.
“Kom Preuve” is a succesful beerfestival, which takes place in the Festi-Village. The Fest-Village is a event hall, in the shape of a markerplace, with scenic decorations. Here tables, stands and all that is necessary for the activity, is placed on the square. The festival takes place in march. For the price of 5 euro you receive your own beerglass and a magazine with the discription of all the beers. Every beer is 1.80 per glass. The moony is partly donated to charity, the “toon hermans huis.” This is a place where they offer any kind of support in the field of emotonal dealing with patients who have cancer.
Two favourite Maastricht songs
MESTREECH IS EINE GROETE KAFFEE
Mestreech is eine groete kaffee
Mestreech dat sjöddelt op neer
Joonk en aajd sprink weer door de straote
Alle hoezer zien verlaote
Mestreech is eine groete kaffee
Oet alle kraone löp 't ut beer
Mestreech is eine groete kaffee
En sjöddelt drijj daog op en neer
Vaan Sint Pieter tot gans in Wieck
Sjaterd euveral meziek
Iech zal uuch noe get goon vertelle
De köp zien gaaroet neet te telle
Vaan de statie tot Klevarie
Is 't einen houp bombarie
Maastricht is one big pub
Maastricht is bumping up and down
Youth and seniors are jumping along the streets
All the houses are left
Maastrict is one big pub
Beer is running out of all the tabs
Maastricht is one big pub
And is bumping a whole three days
From Sanct Pieter to Wyck, far away
Music is resounding everywhere
I will tell you soemthing
The heads can hardly be counted
From the railwaystation to Klevarie
It is one big noise.
MESTREECH IS NEET BREID
Mestreech is neet breid meh Mestreech dat is laank.
Mestreech is de stad vaan de Gezèlle vaan de Zaank.
Niks is te lestig en niks is te zwoer,
want vruntsjap dat is noe zjus de krach vaan 't koer.
Veer zien gezellig es vrun ónderein.
Us te ammezeere, dat vinde veer zoe fijn.
Vergete is de zörreg die soms op us drök.
daorum koume veer edere maondag trök.
Maastricht is not braod but Maastricht is long
Maastricht is the city of coziness and drinks
Nothing is too dissficult and nothing is too heavy
Because friendship is the strenght of the choir
We are cozy and friends among eacj other
Amusing ourselves, that’s what we find so nice
Forgotten are the worries that sometimes is a pressure
That’s why we come back each Monday
The Maastrichtenaar (Mestreechteneer), the maastricht inhabitant. How can we caracterize him? Nearly all are catholic. Since Maastricht has been long time under influence of the Spanish rulers. The south (under the “big rivers”) of the country having this religion, Maastrcht can be seen as the stronghold of catolicism. Churches are frequentier visited and the priests play some role in local society. The dean of the Sint Servaas is a all known person. And, during important catholic celebrations we see the local magistrates in church. The children celebrate each year the “communion” in their white dresses and black suites and people like to walk in the procesions, where also many organistions, like the scouts etc, take part. Of course the catholic Carnival forms an important event, with witch locals can be buzy the whole year, organizing, building Vateloavend-wagons, and composing carnival songs. Peope in Maastricht are fond of being a member of one or more of the numberous clubs. Snookerclubs, Dartclubs, Danceclubs, or old traditional clubs such as Schutterijen, religious clubs (Het graf van Sint Servaas) you name it. The clubs are the way of social networking and seem even to be important in politics, where communual councel candidates with a a feet in the clubs get many votes. Maastricht people like the bon vivre. Eating and drinking ouside the house is important. And, as soon as the weather gets a bit warmer in february the chairs and tables at the pavements terraces at the Vrijthof squre are already opened. Going out, the maastricht madam dresses well, and puts up a lot of rouge. Maastricht is a fashionable city and its important to show off. The mondain, mediteranian flair. And then, having a city to be proud of, Maastricht people cant help being a bit chauvenistic. What is in this perspect also striking , elder people prefer to speak dialect over dutch or other languages. You can ask something in dutch or englksih and they ll anwer you in dialect. That’s what they call here “100 percent Jeng” Jeng is meaning a Maastricht citizin in its fullest way.
For students. Some might come to Maastricht to study for a long time, a few years others perhaps for only a year. A good way to meet new students, especially from other faculties, is when you become a memebr of one of the fraternities. As I was a student in Maastricht, I learned it was really making studentlife more fun. Studentsorganistions offer for their members activities, such as intro capms, lots of cool parties, crazy activities such as piesoupwrestling, or debating contest or whatever. You wont find such activities if you are not into a club. There are several old and big fraternites. Tragos is a traditional one, a greek type with mores and freshmets periods. The organistion is based on “disputen,” smaller clubs. Circumflex is a bit the same sort, so there is a little competion between both of them. The latter claiming to be older than Tragos. KoKo is different. It has no freshment period, but a introduction camp which is focussed on having fun and party, not on bullying and picking up on the new members. This fraternity is also more “free” you don’t have to be in a dispuut, allthough there are a few disputen. “Bertjes” is a typical small club in this fraternity. The MDF then, is a federation of so called “independent disputen.” Since the ninethees they have own pubs and some of these disputen date back from the eighties. There are also numerous of this “independent dispyten” that are not within the MDF. This is a trend, a little group of friends founding a dispute without having a fraternity they belong to, neither a building. One can inagine that this way this club is not able to do the things settled clubs can do. In my studenttime I was a member of KoKo. Allthough most activities and parties are organized by and for their members, the fraternity is popular for its Eindfeest (Final Party) which closed the university study year. Each year with a great live band
For students. From 19 till 22 august The university in cooperation with Hoge School Zuyd organizes the Inkom. This is a 4 days during period of fun, party, making friends and of course, getting acquated to the city you are about to study. Whether planning to study for 4 years or only abroad for a year, as exchange student, this Inkom should not be missed. The organistion, Werkgroep Inkom, has each year a great program of activities for during the day and each evening a big fraternity organises a great party at the MECC hall. There you buy tickets for drinks and dance to live bands. Fraternities are making sure they come with the best dutch live act, so dancing and jumping garantuued. During the day all the fraternities have open house, you can partake in their funny activities, or just watch, drink beer as well as the Werkgroep invites you to be there at their activities, there is f.e. a sports day, a cultural evening – with a visit to a theater etc. When you take part in the Inkom, you ll be automatically put into a group with some 15 other students – international as well as dutch
mixed – and so you are never alone. The group is let by 2 “mentoren” who are often a member of one of the fraternities. And you get a little pas pour tout, with coupons for the many pubs who present themselves as well during these days. Many pubs play cool music and have crazy actions, such as happy hours or 10 beer for 5 euro etc. As I was a student I had a super time during my Inkom, unforgettable…Have fun!
Maastricht and Limburg are the stronghold of catholicism in the Netherlands. As an example of the popular religion you can see the many chapels and crosses along the roads around ?Maastricht and southern Limburg. These places of devotion are often frequented by the locals as well as by processions. The crosses are different of funcion: there are the ones you place as a rewrd for getting cured from a disease (solumn-cross), the ones as memorial, devotioncrosses (to ward off danger). And you find lots of small chapels used for the memmorial of a legend.
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