I love St. Martin’s Day!
Germany is a country of celebration. And on November 11, St. Martin’s day is one of those celebrations.
According to tradition, Martin was a Roman soldier who was later baptized and became a monk. There are many stories of his kindness and generosity toward others… whether cutting his cloak in half to share with a freezing beggar, or his friendship with children and the impoverished.
In fact, it’s because of St. Martin that goose is the choice meal of the day because, as the story goes, when St. Martin was hiding from a forced bishop ordination, he hid in a goose pen. The geese all squawked and gave him a way… so now they are dinner.
While many other countries also celebrate St. Martin’s day, Germany’s unique way of celebrating the day include bonfires. Or, in our case, lanterns.
It formerly symbolized the light that holiness brings to the darkness, just as St. Martin brought a hope to the poor through his good deeds. Even though the tradition of the large, crackling fire is gradually being lost, the procession of lanterns is still practiced.
This was our second year celebrating St. Martin’s Day with our local community. Hannah made a lantern at Kindergarten with her class. Corban made his lantern with the other first-graders in his class. In fact, all of the grades in Elementary made lanterns. We met in Wollbach (the village where Corban’s and Jeremy’s school is) and began parading through the town. We stopped a few times to listen to a live orchestra and to sing traditional St. Martin songs.
The parade ended where it started, at CSK / BFAW (Jeremy’s and Corban’s school). We enjoyed wurst and brot, pretzels, and hot drinks. It was a lot of fun to join our friends and the Wollbach in this annual event.
This was also our extra son’s first time experiencing this holiday. He was curious about how it all worked and seemed to enjoy himself too. 🙂