fbpx
  1. Home
  2. German Holidays and Festivals
  3. St Martin’s Day Germany – What is St Martin’s Tag and how is it Celebrated?
St Martin’s Day Germany –  What is St Martin’s Tag and how is it Celebrated?

St Martin’s Day Germany – What is St Martin’s Tag and how is it Celebrated?

0
8

I visited Germany in November a few years ago and was delighted to experience my first St Martin’s Tag (St.Martin’s Day Germany). Kids were out in the neighborhood after dark (which comes VERY EARLY in Nord-Rhine Westfalen in November) on November 11, carrying lanterns on poles, and singing as they walked down the street.

st martins day in germany

 

Lantern Statue in Bad Homburg 

But what is St Martin’s Day?

On November 11, the life of St.Martin of Tours is celebrated in Catholic regions in Germany with processions and bonfires, as well as a feast. (Like many “fun” holidays, this tradition has spread to Protestant regions as well…).

Children make their own paper lanterns, fasten them to sticks, and walk the neighborhoods singing songs. Often they are led by someone dressed in a St Martin outfit (which looks very much like a Roman Soldier carrying a sword). The procession ends at a bonfire with more singing, and delicious foods. Some children will then go door to door collecting treats like candy or money as a reward for their singing and beautiful lantern (a bit like trick or treating in the US).

st martin's day germany

Children in a St Martin’s day parade with St Martin on a horse… Bundesarchiv, Bild 194-0273-45

 Who was St Martin?

 

what is st martin's day

St Martin of Tours is best known for the story of how he cut his cloak in half during a snowstorm, to share it with a beggar (in images of St Martin, he’s usually holding a sword).  He started out as a Roman Soldier, but then found Christianity, and was baptized. His faith and modesty impressed Church Leaders so much; they made him the Bishop of Tours. After his death, he was canonized, and made the Patron Saint of Modesty and Altruism.

St Martin of Tours is best known for the story of how he cut his cloak in half during a snowstorm, to share it with a beggar (in images of St Martin, he’s usually holding a sword).  He started out as a Roman Soldier, but then found Christianity, and was baptized. His faith and modesty impressed Church Leaders so much; they made him the Bishop of Tours. After his death, he was canonized, and made the Patron Saint of Modesty and Altruism.

According to legend, he really didn’t want the job of Bishop, so he hid from the people of Tours in a barn full of Geese. The Geese honked and gave him away, so today; the traditional St Martin’s Day meal is Roast Goose. (Let that be a lesson!)

 

st martins goose

You Can Celebrate St. Martin’s Day

St martin's day germany

Home Made Lanterns for St Martin’s Day Germany

All you need is a Lantern and some songs.… throw in a bonfire and some wonderful German good, and it’s a party!
I’ve linked some CD’s for songs, and some you tube videos below…

Coloring picture lantern children for the window [printable template] - Waldorf transparent picture for children to Saint MartinColoring picture lantern children for the window [printable template] – Waldorf transparent picture for children to Saint MartinColoring picture lantern children for the window [printable template] - Waldorf transparent picture for children to Saint MartinPrintable Martinmas Waldorf TransparencyPrintable Martinmas Waldorf TransparencyPrintable Martinmas Waldorf Transparency

 

You can Get St Martin’s Day Lanterns

St Martin LanternSt Martin LanternGermanShop24Moon and stars lanternMoon and stars lanternGermanShop24Pirate lanternPirate lanternGermanShop24Unicorn LanternUnicorn LanternGermanShop24Frozen LanternFrozen LanternGermanShop24

Build Your Own St. Martin’s Day Lantern

Instruction Books from Germany

Meine erste Laterne: Extra stabil und einfach zu bastelnMeine erste Laterne: Extra stabil und einfach zu bastelnAMAZON.DELaternen basteln mit Kindern: Einfache Modelle leuchtend schönLaternen basteln mit Kindern: Einfache Modelle leuchtend schönAMAZON.DE

English Instructions

http://www.ukgermanconnection.org/kids-make-lantern
German Instructions
http://www.kidsweb.de/basteln/laterne.htm
http://www.familie.de/diy/st-martin-laterne-selber-basteln-540299.html

These Lighted Poles make Lanterns Safe!

Lantern Stick HeartLantern Stick HeartGermanShop24Lantern stick flashing lightLantern stick flashing lightGermanShop24Lantern StickLantern StickGermanShop24

 

Lantern Kits

Digital downloads with patterns to create beautiful lanterns. The downloaded files contain patterns, directions, and materials lists.

Craft template penguin lantern / girl and boy / St. MartinCraft template penguin lantern / girl and boy / St. MartinCraft template penguin lantern / girl and boy / St. MartinFox lantern craft template/SVG/individual parts for construction paperFox lantern craft template/SVG/individual parts for construction paperFox lantern craft template/SVG/individual parts for construction paperDeer lantern/craft template/SVG/individual parts for construction paper fawnDeer lantern/craft template/SVG/individual parts for construction paper fawnDeer lantern/craft template/SVG/individual parts for construction paper fawnDino lantern craft template/SVG/individual parts for construction paperDino lantern craft template/SVG/individual parts for construction paperDino lantern craft template/SVG/individual parts for construction paper

Tractor lantern with front loader craft instructionsTractor lantern with front loader craft instructionsTractor lantern with front loader craft instructions

 

St Martin’s Day Food

 

what is a weckman

Around the Bonfire, people eat sweet pastries and drink warm beverages like Cocoa and Glühwein. At home, Roast Goose is popular.  Looking for a Roast Goose Recipe?

Some children are lucky enough to receive a Weckmann (or Stutenkerl) on St Martin’s Day, Germany. This is a sweet bread roll shaped into a man with raisin eyes and a white clay pipe in his mouth, sold at any bakery or made at home by mom. (My mother tells me that she and her friends would then sneak around smoking with the clay pipe).

Follow this link to make your own Weckmann/ Stutenkerl

A Tonpfeife (clay pipe) is important to complete the look! 
You can order them from Amazon Germany…

Birkmann 196650 Plätzchen-Ausstechform Stutenkerl, Set mit TonpfeifeBirkmann 196650 Plätzchen-Ausstechform Stutenkerl, Set mit TonpfeifeBirkmann 196650 Plätzchen-Ausstechform Stutenkerl, Set mit Tonpfeife

Roast Goose is a traditional meal on St Martin’s Day… but around the bonfire, a nice Bratwurst in a Broetchen is perfect.

Glühwein for the parents… and Hot Cocoa or Non-Alcoholic Warm Christmassy Punch for the Kids…. to keep everyone warm on a cold night.

St Martin’s Day Songs

Ein Bisschen so wie Martin is a book with CD… perfect for learning to sing along.

St. Martin: Lantern SongsSt. Martin: Lantern SongsSt. Martin: Lantern SongsEin bisschen so wie Martin: 22 Lieder zu Laternenfest und Sankt Martin (German Edition)Ein bisschen so wie Martin: 22 Lieder zu Laternenfest und Sankt Martin (German Edition)Ein bisschen so wie Martin: 22 Lieder zu Laternenfest und Sankt Martin (German Edition)

Laterne Laterne

Laterne, Laterne, Sonne, Mond und Sterne.
Brenne auf, mein Licht, brenne auf, mein Licht,
aber nur meine liebe Laterne nicht.

Laterne, Laterne, Sonne, Mond und Sterne.
Sperrt ihn ein den Wind, sperrt ihn ein den Wind,
er soll warten bis wir zu Hause Sind.

Ich geh’ mit meine Laterne

Ich geh‘ mit meiner Laterne
Und meine Laterne mit mir.
Dort oben leuchten die Sternen,
und unten, da leuchten wir.
Mein Licht ist aus,
ich geh’ nach Haus,
rabimmel, rabammel, rabum.

And When it’s Time to Go Home…

Mein Licht ist aus,
ich geh’ nach Haus,
rabimmel, rabammel, rabum.

 

Want to Learn More About Celebrating St Martin’s Day?

This Book by Conrad Bladey is loaded with information. You can find it as a Paperback, but it’s cheaper if you download it for Kindle (remember, you don’t need to have a Kindle, you just need the app on your computer or device.

Celebrating St. Martin's Day November 11 In Germany. A guide to the celebration of St. Martin of ToursCelebrating St. Martin’s Day November 11 In Germany. A guide to the celebration of St. Martin of ToursCelebrating St. Martin's Day November 11 In Germany. A guide to the celebration of St. Martin of Tours

See the Massive St Martins Celebration in Buschdorf

st martin's tag

Comment(8)

  1. Weckmann auch Stutenkerl genannt in Westfahlen.
    Ich machte auch Stutenkerle zum Nikolaustag,Dezember 6,

    1. Haben Sie vielleicht ein Rezept das Ich probieren kann? (Fur veniger als 200 Kerle…) =)

    2. Ja genau. Wir liebten frische Weckmännerit Rosinen Augen. War tolle Kindheit!

  2. What a lovely blog post! I’m so happy to learn about St Martin’s Day in Germany. I’ve always loved the story of St. Martin and his dragon, so this holiday is especially special to me. I’m looking forward to

  3. I attended Kindergarten at St. Martin of Tours parish in St. Louis, MO. I am so happy to learn about St. Martin’s Day. Thank you Karen!

  4. Hello everyone. I never heard of St Martin Day. Interesting story. There are no small children in my life. All my Christmas decoration comes from Germany. I use them every year. Reminds me of my Christmases in Germany. I would never atemted to cook a goose. Personally I don’t care for Goose. I also know that my children wouldn’t eat it either. My neighbor made one for Christmas and Invited us. I knew I wouldn’t like it, but didn’t want to be rude. I forced some Goose down. From now on I will decline any inventions. Gosh that thing was greasy. I totally disliked it. But I was brought up to always be polite. I’m a typical German. I will say what I think. But I kept my mouth shut, because the invite came from my girlfriend. Month later I told her the truth. Told her, please don’t invite me any more, I disliked that Goose. My children nor my husband wouldn’t eat it either. Had to apologize for them. Thank God they understood, and were still friends. I’m a very outspoken person and will say what’s on my mind. I never sugar coated anything. The friends that I have got used to my ways. But I’m staying home this Christmas. I have some redneck friends, and it’s hard what the serve. It might be Raccoon, or wild Turkey. That is also something I won’t eat. No wild life. Happy St Martin Day to everyone that celebrates it.

LEAVE YOUR COMMENT

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!