Friday, November 9th, was the St. Martin's Day celebration at the girls kindergarten. St. Martin's Day is officially recognized as the eleventh of November. At 11:11 am on the eleventh of November is the kick off of Karival season in Germany (and other parts to the world as well).
St. Martin was a Roman solder who later became a monk and it is his good deed of sharing his coat with a begger during a snow storm that is most known. Many kindergartens and pre-schools celebrate the day (often on other days, so that parents can attend more than one!) by creating decorative latterns and parading around singing songs about St. Martin. There is often a bon fire, with various food and drink sold available that warms the body on this cold time of of year. The fire department built and oversaw the bonfire, but because of concern about it being too rainy for the little kids, the singing of songs was done in the kindergarten this year. The kindergarten taught the kids some new songs, so they didn't sing the couple of songs that I remember from the past. I have posted some videos on YouTube.
Carnival (Karneval) season kicks off on November eleventh at 11:11 am. Karneval (the Rheinland area of Germany), Fastnacht (around Mainz) , or Fasching (around Munich and Austria) are all differnt names given to it within the German speaking areas of Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. The season is a celebration before the quiet period of lent, prior to Easter. The high light of the season is Rosenmontag, which is usually occuring the 42nd day before Easter. Although many German cities have their own parades and celebrations, the most famous are held in Mainz, Colonge, and Dusseldorf. Venice, Italy has a well known costume ball, but many of the German cities have their own costumed gatherings (especially for the kids). We've taken our kids to several parades and activites related to Carnival. The kids really enjoy being able to dress up.
Here are a few links where you can learn more about St. Martin and Karneval...
- St. Martin from Fun Social Studies
- St. Martin's Day from German Culture
- St. Martin from Germusa
- St. Martin's Day from Wikipedia
- Karneval from McKinnion Secondary College
- Fastnacht/Karneval from About.com
- Fasching from Germusa
- Karneval-Fastnacht-Fasching from Germusa
- Carnival from Wikipedia
I recently did a post on the other blog on the Thanksgiving Review.