Thursday, October 28, 2010
It is almost the end of October and many kids are looking forward for November because of the Laternenfest or the Festival of Lanterns. It is an old tradition here in Germany that is well-loved by children because they get to carry hand-made lanterns and sing songs when it gets dark. It is usually celebrated every 11th of November to celebrate St. Martin's Day.
Here's a little history about St. Martin's Day:
St. Martin's Day is one of the most popular saint's days in Germany and is celebrated mostly by youth and rural populations. Martin of Tours was born in the 4th Century and started out as a Roman soldier, later becoming a monk, and because of his exemplary way of life was later appointed Bishop of Tours (against his will). Many legends surround his life, the most famous of which tells how he cut his cloak in half to share with a beggar who was dying in the cold.
St. Martin's Day is also the official start of Karneval, Fasching and Fastnacht at eleven minutes past eleven on the eleventh day of the eleventh month. It's at this time that carnival clubs and neighborhood groups start their preparations for the carnival season that culminates with the big Fasching (Mardi Gras) parades in February. St. Martin's Day also marks the end of the agrarian year and the start of the harvesting season.
Because my little girl is already attending Kindergarten, that means that she will be joining her first ever Laternenfest. I received an invitation to create a lantern with my daughter at the Kindergarten and we made one last Friday. There were patterns to choose from and the possibilities are endless... My little Samantha settled for the Indian lantern and I guess it turned out pretty well. I really enjoyed doing crafts with my little girl although her role was mainly to say "Wow, was ist das?" and hand me some tools like a glue stick, a pencil, a scissor.
The Laternenfest at my little girl's Kindergarten is going to be on November 9th. I am so looking forward to it!