Thursday, November 10, 2011

Saint Martin - Part 1

On November 11 children all over Germany celebrate the holiday of St. Martin by taking their usually self-constructed lanterns on a parade and see a short play of the St. Martin story. Very briefly: St. Martin, a well-off Roman soldier with a horse and a warm cape, cut his cape in half a shared it with a cold beggar. The most fascinating part of the parade/play used to always be the live horse for me - turned out Sophie feels the same.
 In the morning, just much too early for my liking, I had joined a group of other mom volunteers to bake 120 traditional Weckmänner - little sweet bread men with raisins. It turned out to be good fun. We were cracking up about the silly shapes of them: most of them resembled edematous aliens.
 Sophie has been counting the number of nights she would have to sleep until she got to walk with her lantern. She was very excited today. After a last-minute hunt on the bike all over town for the lantern stick and safe candles, we were ready to head over Sophie's preschool.
 ...where we started off the festivities with a waffle or two or four. All for a good cause.
 Finally gathering on the school playground and waiting for St. Martin to mount his horse. Or should I say Santa Martina in this case?
 I'm amazed the lantern did not break before the parade. Most girls chose the princess castle theme, although I really liked the frog prince ones. 
 Off we go.
 Wave hello to Santa Martina AND THE HORSE!
 Many houses were decorated en route.

Back at the preschool, Santa Martina handed every child a Weckmann, which looked a lot like a certain edematous alien, to take home and share with the family. Sophie was mesmerized. The lady in the white shirt is one of Sophie's teachers by the way. Her name is Judith and Sophie adores her. 

So this was part 1 with the preschool. Tomorrow is another parade for the entire town with another St. Martin. Sophie is definitely going with Berit. My mum and I have to hurry back from off-loading the container in Dusseldorf. There will be fireworks for this parade.

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