I love living abroad with my family because we get to learn about and celebrate new holidays. This past Christmas Season it felt as though we had new traditions (or holiday) to celebrate almost every week! The holiday season began on November 11 for us with Saint Martin's Day, also known as the Feast of Saint Martin, it is the time when autumn wheat seeding is completed, and the annual slaughter of fattened cattle is produced: "Martinmas beef". Sounds fun right? Well it is!
On Saint Martin's Day in Germany the kids parade at night carrying lanterns. Sometimes the parade ends with a bonfire and kids go door to door caroling and receiving candy. Mario made his own lantern at school and was very proud of it. He evenly glued leaves on each side of his lantern, above a perfectly lined up yellow square. This past St. Martin's Day parade, Mario's first, it began down pouring rain about half way through the parade - of course it did! We were lucky enough to run into some of Mario's classmates from school along the parade route and found shelter with them inside a tent outside of one of the parents homes. Although it was wet and cold, Mario had a happy experience and he ended the evening with a pocketful of candy while dada was left in charge of keeping his precious lantern protected from the rain.
Here is a song the children sing in Germany for Saint Martins' Day... Enjoy
Laterne, Laterne (German)
Sonne, Mond und Sterne
Brenne auf, mein Licht,
Brenne auf, mein Licht
Aber nur meine liebe Laterne nicht.
Lantern, Lantern (English)
Sun, moon and stars,
Burn, my light,
Burn, my light,
But not only the light of my dear lantern.