Monday, November 14, 2011

"Laternenfest-Martinstag" (St. Martins Day)


A little history about Laternenfest (St. Martin's Day)


Laternenfest 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. St. Martin's Day is one of the most popular saint's days in Germany.
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. Many legends surround his life, the most famous being that he once cut his cloak in half to share with a beggar during a snowstorm, to save the beggar from dying of the cold. That night he dreamed that Jesus was wearing the half-cloak he had given away. Martin heard Jesus say to the angels: "Here is Martin, the Roman soldier who is not baptised; he has clothed me.".(Wikipedia)

On the eve of St. Martin's feast day (Martinstag), when it gets dark, the kids walk through the streets with paper lanterns and candles, and sing songs about Saint Martin. Sometimes, a man dressed as Saint Martin rides on a horse in front of the procession.

a hand-made paper lantern

On the 8th of November was the annual Laternenfest in my son´s Kindergarten. Louis was very excited joining his first ever Laternenfest. The children were accompanied by their parents....walking and singing in the dark. It was such a fun experience for me too it being my first time too. The Kindergarten was decorated outside with little lights and a camp fire. The atmosphere was really cozy. I am already looking forward to the next annual Laternenfest come 2012 :-)))

Louis and his latern....he was so excited and could not wait to go :-)

Louis and a friend at the Kindergarten "Laternenfest"

with my girlfriend and our kids

musicians playing St. Martin songs

outside was lighted up with candles and little laterns.....very cozy

the firemen made a camp fire

colourful paper-latern decorations outside
walking and singing in the dark.......through the streets

with my hubby

 Hope you did have a good time with us at the Laternenfest. I really did enjoy it and do look forward to other traditional festivals with such a flair. Wish you all a lovely week. Stay cool and be good :-)

from Deutschland with luv,


  1. Nice! I just wrote a post about this as well. Here in Holland I didn't see so many activities, but I'm sure that neighborhoods other than mine were more fun. ;)

  2. thanks Viajera, lovely hearing from u. It´s good to know u also celebrate this in Holland. Wish u a lovely weekend.