It is true, every holiday in Germany is better. No, I am not Catholic so I can’t speak to the holiday of St. Martin’s being celebrated in the US, but I have never heard of the day at all. That being said, Catholic or not, in Germany all families celebrate the day in the typical German celebration style: parades with fire and pretzels.
Brock and I joined our village parade with my friend Sara and her son Landon. We left the house at 5:30 in the pitch dark, lanterns in hand to join the start of the parade at 6. Can you believe how dark it is?
We paraded through the streets from the church up to the sports fields where every child got a cinnamon sugar pretzel. The lanterns were an even mix of store bought and hand decorated lanterns with battery operated lights and also flame sticks. I am not kidding. Elementary aged kids were waving around flaming sticks that according to Sara cannot be put out, they must burn all the way—even if you stomp on them they will continue to burn.
We were quite towards the back of the parade so I couldn’t see, but Sara explained that the parade is led by a man on horseback, meant to be St. Martin. I leaned that Martin became a saint for being a kind man who cut his cloak in half during a snowstorm to share with a beggar.
It is always fun to join in the local celebrations, but unfortunately we had to cut it short. A combination of being outside at night and two molars coming in made Brock a bit touchy. The rest of the week went by pretty grumpily but today he finally seemed himself again.
Fil will be away all next week and when he gets back we are headed to Bruges, Belgium for four days over Thanksgiving to enjoy the city, waffles, fries, chocolate, beer, and best of all an ice sculpture festival! This is our anniversary trip since we wanted to stay home for our actual anniversary, December 26th. We are both really excited. And the perfect cherry on top is that once we get back to Germany it is officially the Christmas season! I can barely wait, I have been bitten by the Christmas bug and cannot wait to start shopping the Christmas markets! I may even put up our tree while Fil is away… Christmas is just so much more magical over here.