Children, Culture, Netherlands, School

Autumn’s Here: The Kabouters Are Out

The leaves are turning more and more orange and red as each day passes. The evenings are getting darker and the sun seems to have left for a long vacation of its own, leaving the rain and wind to their own devices. Yes, autumn is here and in the Netherlands that means it’s kabouter season.

My five year old is about to start a project on the theme of kabouters in school and my two year old is off to his first kabouterfeest tomorrow in pre-school.

When my eldest had his kabouterfeest..
(c) Amanda van Mulligen

A kabouter is the Dutch equivalent of a gnome or an Irish leprechaun. Adorned with a full white beard (the males in any case) and a red pointy hat these little mythical beings live underground or in mushrooms. They usually have big, round bellies and pouchy, rosy cheeks. Some kabouters bring good luck. Others are a bit naughty. But not to worry because they seem to be quite shy of human beings.

I’m sure I’ll learn lots more about kabouters from my eldest son in the coming weeks…and spare a thought for my two year old tomorrow…. dressed in red & green clothes with a white beard, rosy cheeks and a cushion stuffed down his trousers….

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