Monday, November 12, 2007

St. Martin's Day / Martinstag

On November 11, German children celebrate St. Martin's Day as the start of Carnival season. They walk around the streets, after dark, carrying lanterns, and singing songs. Carter's school had a parade at a park in the city center. The picture below is of Carter and Ava carrying the lanterns they made the previous week.

After the parade there was a huge bonfire with Gl├╝hwein (mulled wine) for the adults and Weckmann for the children. Weckmann is the piece of bread shaped like a man that Carter is holding in the picture below.

Here is one of the songs that the children sing, in German and with an English translation…

Ich geh mit meiner Laterne

Ich geh mit meiner Laterne
Und meine Laterne mit mir.
Dort oben leuchten die Sterne
Und unten leuchten wir.
Mein Licht ist aus,
Ich geh nach Haus,
Rabimmel, rabammel, rabum

Here’s the English translation...

I walk with my lantern,
And my lantern with me.
There above, the stars shine,
And we shine here below.
My light is off,
I go home,
Rabimmel, rabammel, rabum.

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