There are some lovely traditions and festivals done by most families here in Berlin. One of my favourites is definitely St. Martin’s Day with it’s bonfires, feasts and lantern walks.
Unfortunately, we were a bit too ill to go to the planned St. Martin’s celebration at Miss K’s Kita. I was rather sad that I had to miss this first, reverent, celebration with our community there. I made Miss K a lantern anyway hoping to jump onto someone else’s walk on the Tuesday night.
I made the lantern out of an upturned distilled water bottle with the bottom cut off. We screwed the candle to the lid on the inside and were able to take it out and easily light it. On the outside I had autumn leaves glued between butter paper (I couldn’t find wax paper that you can just iron together – best craft paper ever). I taped some leaves on the join to finish it off, tied it through 4 holes with wool and hooked it onto a purpose made stick I bought.
On the Monday night we did some practice in our living room. We had sung the lantern song on Sunday just holding leaves (when I had a voice), so I only had to whisper it Monday night to have Miss K singing and walking along.
We put a hoop in the middle of the room and piled leaves in it to have as a kind of fire. Actually, usually people congregate to sing around such a fire and do the lantern walk through the neighbourhood in procession.
There are LED lights you can buy for lanterns to make them safer, but I just love a candle in the right place. So does Miss K of course!
On Tuesday we organised with another family from the Kita to take a walk around the neighbourhood with our lanterns. There were many other families and some groups doing the same. It’s a lovely mood and the children recognise each other having their lanterns – everyone is doing something together and that feels good.
I really hope that next year we are well enough to go to our Kita’s celebration to sing and eat and walk, but I am satisfied that we got to do something for this wonderful celebration.