St. Martin’s Day (German: Martinstag) is a festival that is celebrated on November 11th each year. It is particularly popular with children across Europe, especially in Germany.
Saint Martin was a Roman soldier. According to lore, he was modest and altruistic. The legend about his saving a homeless person from freezing to death by giving him half of his cloak is known to children in all parts of Germany. It is traditional, in many parts of Germany, for children to participate in a procession of carrying paper lanterns in remembrance of St. Martin. They decorate their own little lanterns in schools or kindergartens and then march on city streets holding their lanterns and singing songs.
On November 9th, the House of Knowledge community came together to celebrate St. Martin’s Day in keeping with the German traditions by demonstrating the qualities St. Martin was known for modesty, generosity and selflessness.
The teachers and students from both Chaoyang Park Campus and Shunyi Campus started to prepare for the St. Martin’s Day celebrations one week ago. Teachers shared the story of St. Martin, discussing the honourable virtues the children should learn from, and the children made and decorated their own lanterns. On the day of the celebration, the students led a procession with their parents carrying their lit lanterns, starting from the Early Years, on to Elementary then on to the Piazza. Finally, the procession headed to the Gym and finished up outside in the playground where everyone gathered together.
Children enjoyed the marshmallows beside the bonfire, decorated the breadmen utilising their design thinking, and shared mulled wine (adults only), hot chocolate, tangerines and nuts with their families. Thank you to the HoK community for spending this beautiful night filled with love and kindness with us!