Thursday, November 12, 2009

Martinmas

Not only was yesterday Remembrance Day, but it was also the feast of St. Martin of Tours. He will always have a special place in our heart. While living in Germany we always took part in the St. Martin's Day parades, walking with our home-made lanterns behind St. Martin on a horse. After the parade, there were Stutenkerle (sweetdough men), gluhwein and a huge Martin's fire. My good friend Michaela introduced us to this custom when Noah was just a baby. Her son and Noah were only six weeks apart. I remember Noah's first lantern was a paper mache fish. Every year we spent a number of days preparing for this feast. I even had to practise the songs, because they were all new to me. I grew to love this feast more and more each year. The first few years we had a little one in a sling or a stroller. When the children attended a Waldorf Kindergarten, we attended their intimate little parade with all three kids in tow. It was cold, but fun walking through the darkness and singing songs. The children provided the only light. It was almost magical.

Since moving to Canada, we have only organized one St. Martin's parade. It is extremely difficult to start a new custom in a new country. Last year, we didn't even bother to organize a parade for the home schoolers. There wasn't enough interest. Our city does have quite a large German community and we learned that there is a parade in park in the far north of the city (we live in the south). We wanted to attend this year, but with my dear hubby out of town, I wasn't going to venture there on my own. I hate driving though this city, especially at night. We did however make lanterns and sang a few songs of our own. We will postpone our fire until the weekend and I found a recipe for GF Stutenkerle that I will bake then. I would have made some yesterday, but the recipe calls for psyllium husk and I didn't have any. Our day was so full already. Here are the lanterns the children made.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0uBd70mA7w&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&hl=en&feature=player_embedded&fs=1]

Some resources we also found useful:
Our favourite St. Martin of Tours book
Colouring Pages
Cat Lantern Instructions (in German, but the picture are self-explanitory)
House Lantern Intructions (in German, but the picture are self-explanitory)
Glas Lantern Instructions (in German, but the picture are self-explanitory)
Interesting Informtation about the Feast and how it is celebrated

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