Thursday, November 11, 2010
I was so excited for evening to come last Tuesday. Why? Because it was the scheduled date for my little girl's Laternenfest (Lantern Festival) at the Kindergarten. It was her first time to join such a very traditional German custom that me, my husband and a good friend also went to join. At 5:30PM, it was already dark and the weather was perfect for a lantern parade. The kids excitedly lined up and proudly held their lit handmade lanterns. My little girl was so delighted and fascinated by the lit up lanterns that she didn't mind the cold weather and the fact the she's hungry and tired from a whole day's activity at the kindergarten earlier. She refused to wear her hat at first, and seeing the other children already wearing their winter bonnets reminded me that it is high time for me to buy hats that are suitable for cold weather.
We did a small procession and walked around the neighborhood, the children holding their lit lanterns, the parents holding their kids and singing songs suitable for the occasion. I didn't know the songs so that I just sang whenever I can catch some familiar words especially on the chorus part. Along the way, I would hear a child or two cry because his/her lantern burned down and a parent trying to console the child. That's why I was also on a close watch for my little girl's lantern, making sure she was holding the handle properly. Candles can really be dangerous if you don't take any precautions. I should have researched more and looked for an alternative for candles, as the other parents did with their kids' lanterns where they used battery operated LED lights. Well, I now know what to do for next year. And I am looking forward to creating another handmade lantern. What will it be next time Sam? A dragon, a princess, a star, or a mickey mouse?