Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Lost Monday

Yesterday (Monday 7 January) was not only the day that my dear daddy turned 66, but also known as 'verloren maandag' or lost Monday - especially in the province of Antwerp. Although this is my 4th January in Belgium, I seem to have missed this strange tradition the past 3 years (or have been completely obvlivious to everything happening around me). I think I was in Edinburgh/Liverpool last year and skiing the year before that, so hopefully that gives me some sort of excuse...

So apparently, it is tradition to eat worstbrood and appelballen (sauceage bread and deep fried apple balls...)

I have found a snipped on Wikipedia about Verloren Maandag and will do my best to translate as I can't find it anywhere in English (erhm....)

Lost Monday is a Flemish tradition held on the Monday following Three Wise Men Day (6th of January). This tradition is especially prevalent in the province of Antwerp and has remained in Doornik.
In Flanders (especially Antwerp) It is tradition to eat sauceage bread and apple balls on this day. Previously the workers in the harbour from Antwerp received their pay cheques on Sundays. Some of this men then went to a bar, and the money which remained was given to their wives. But on Three Wise Men Day, everybody celebrated their entire pay cheques away with no remaining money the following Monday. Therefore, to ensure they didn't have an empty belly, the men foraged around the bars and butchers to ensure they had something to eat. The butchers then made sauceage bread which were quite cheap, yummy and filling and gave these to the workers. These days were always a day run at a loss for the butchers and was a day of lost work hence a Lost Monday.

If people now go for a drink in a café in Antwerp on Lost Monday, they receive guarenteed a free sauceage bread.

Am not sure how much of this is true - I haven't been to a bar on Lost Monday, but I love the little stories which come with the days here!

Dutch Translation (from wikipedia)

Verloren maandag of Verzworen maandag (Frans lundi perdu of lundi parjuré) is een Vlaamse traditie op de maandag na Driekoningen. Deze traditie is vooral hardnekkig in de provincie Antwerpen en in Doornik gebleven.
Het is in Vlaanderen en vooral in de provincie Antwerpen de traditie om op die dag worstenbroden en appelbollen te eten.
Vroeger kregen de arbeiders in de haven van Antwerpen 's zondags hun loon uitbetaald. Sommige mannen gingen dan op café zich bezatten en gaven de overschot van hun geld dan aan hun vrouw. Maar op Driekoningen, een feestdag, vierde iedereen feest met het loon en was er de volgende maandag zo goed als niets over. Dus, om toch niet met een lege maag te zitten, struinden de mannen alle cafés en slagers af om toch maar iets te eten te hebben voor hun kroost. De slagers maakten dan worstenbroodjes, wat goedkoop, heel lekker en vullend was en gaven die dan aan de arbeiders. Die dag werd er dan ook alleen verlies gemaakt door de slagers en het was dus een dag van verloren arbeid, een Verloren Maandag.
Als men tegenwoordig in Antwerpen op Verloren Maandag iets gaat drinken in een café krijgt men er steevast gratis een worstenbroodje bij.
Sommige bronnen menen dat "Verloren Maandag" valt op de maandag na de eerste zondag na Driekoningen. Valt Driekoningen op een zondag,dan valt "Verloren Maandag" in feite op 14 januari.

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