Celebration of St Martin’s Day 2016

2nd Year students of German display the lanterns they made in celebration of Martin's Day.

2nd Year students of German display the lanterns they made in celebration of Martin’s Day.

‘Ich geh mit meiner Laterne und meine Laterne mit mir. Dort oben leuchten die Sterne und unten, da leuchten wir’ . ‘I go with my lantern . And my lantern with me . Up there the stars shine . And below, we shine.’ (Traditional Martin’s Day song)

In celebration of St Martin’s day (Martinstag), 2nd Year students of German at Mount Mercy enjoyed a handicraft lesson making paper lanterns in November 2016. Tealights were placed into the lanterns and lit upon completion, creating a festive brightness to contrast the Winter darkness outside. St Martin’s Day marks the beginning of Winter. St Martin was known as a friend to children and to the poor. His feast day falls annually on 11th November and is a special celebration in Germany. On St Martin’s Day in Germany, children make paper lanterns and carry them containing brightly lit tea-lights in street processions, singing Martin’s Day songs and enjoying receiving sweet treats. A man dressed up like St Martin often leads the procession on horseback. St Martin was known for his acts of kindness – one example of this was when he is said to have cut his cloak in half to share with a beggar during a snowstorm to prevent the man from dying from the cold. The lanterns bring light to darkness, just as St Martin brought hope to the poor through his good actions. It is a celebration enjoyed by children of all denominations or none in Germany.

Laterne, Laterne –
Sonne, Mond und Sterne.
Brenne auf, mein Licht,
Brenne auf, mein Licht
Aber nur meine liebe Laterne nicht.
Lantern, Lantern –
Sun, moon and stars.
Burn, my light,
Burn, my light,
But not my dear lantern.
(Traditional Martin’s Day song)

Starting to make our lanterns.

Starting to make our Martin’s Day lanterns.

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Designing, sketching and cutting out various shapes such as leaf motifs before attaching them to the paper lanterns

2nd Year German class busy with 'Basteln'. The German word 'basteln' means 'to do handicraft' or 'to make things with one's hands'.

2nd Year German class busy with ‘Basteln’. The German word ‘basteln’ means ‘to do handicraft’ or ‘to make things with one’s hands’.

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A creative display of luminosity! Well done to our 2nd Year students of German for their lovely creative designs which included leaf patterns, stars and hearts.