Friday, 16 November 2012

Laterne, Laterne, Sonne Mond und Sterne...

Yesterday at Kindergarten we celebrated the story of St Martin in a traditional way with a lantern parade. The official saint's day for St Martin is 11 November and as that was a Sunday this year, we celebrated on the next closest day.

The story is that of St Martin of Tours, who as a Roman Soldier gave away half his cloak to a beggar who turned out to be Jesus - see here for more information about St. Martin.

At this time of year, Kindergarten swings into full Blue Peter mode with the building of lanterns which we parade around the village on a light stick.  This year, having 2 children at Kindergarten, I had the joy of two lanterns.  Fortunately, the wee girle's one was simple as she's only 2, but they get progressively more intricate as the years progress, we have done all manner of designs from simple glowing balls to sheep, crows and witches! So, about 2 weeks ago, we met at school for a 'bastel-abend' an afternoon of cutting, sticking, drawing etc - I think I was more covered in glue than the lantern but then I'm not known for my crafting abilities!  All this is of course accomplished with much chat, coffee and biscuits!  After we had all finished the lanterns, there was a wee practise of the 'Martinslieder' the special songs we sing whilst parading (today's title is a line from one of the songs).

So roll on to last night's parade.  We all meet in the dark at the appointed time at Kindergarten and form a parade to walk around the block next to the Kindergarten - for this we have a procession starting with the village policeman, then St. Martin on his horse, then the Maltesers (not the confectionery, but a First Aid organisation), then the Vorschulekinder (these are the biggest Kindergartners so aged 5/6), then a brass band to provide the music for our singing and finally the rest of the rabble of Kindergartners ranging from 2 - 4 with associated parents, grandparents and siblings - quite a feat for a small village Kindergarten - and all for a walk of about 500m!

Having paraded and sung, we then congregate on the football pitch next to the Kindergarten where there is a bonfire roaring in order to watch a small piece depicting St Martin sharing his cloak with the beggarman.

Having sung and paraded, it's then back inside to continue with another tradition of the day, the Weckmann which is a gingerbreadman shaped cake made from a sweet yeast dough and tradionally has raisins for eyes and a clay pipe.  These are handed out to all of the children at the Fest.  We used to then celebrate with Bratwurst und Glühwein, but after an unfortunate minesweeping incident at last year's Sommerfest, we are now 'dry' for Kindergaten events - which does make them that bit more difficult to get through!


  1. Some careless folk left their beer bottles in reach of the Kindergartners and several were seen trying out the contents!! One severe teacher noticed and now all the events are dry.....