Tonight we celebrated St. Martin’s Day with Amelia’s kindergarten. They have been preparing for this day, and it was pretty special!
|Going up the steps of Mariahilfberg.|
Anyway, on to the part about St. Martin. The legend goes that St. Martin was riding his horse on a particularly cold night, and there was a beggar outside the city gate with no clothes on. St. Martin took pity on him, cut his cloak in half with a sword, and gave it to the man. He is the patron saint of horses, and is celebrated with pageants and lantern walks, among other activities.
We went into the church, and the children sat up front to hear the sermon. The children performed a pageant of the story, interspersed with special hymns about St. Martin and lanterns. They did really well… I love seeing them all bundled up– there is no heating in these ancient churches.
This week they had each made a lantern for this evening. The youngest children had special lantern sticks with battery-operated lights. The older ones got real candles in theirs.
After the service, we all set off on a ceremonious walk around the church with the lanterns. It was really foggy, so it looked pretty cool. And then we ran into St. Martin himself!
This time the grownups enacted the pageant, complete with a real horse and real cloak!
Happy St. Martin’s Day!