Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Celebration of St.Martin

Saint Martin Day is celebrated on the 11th of November in Switzerland.

St. Martin was a Roman soldier who was baptized as an adult. He lived in the 4th century and was the founder of monasteries in and around Tours in France. He is also known as St. Martin of Tours. He later became the bishop of Tours and is the patron saint of harvest and the poor.

Legends concerning St. Martin are more abundant than historic facts. Apparently Martin was a very kind man who did many good deeds. The most famous legend about him is that one freezing cold winter night, he crossed the path of an old beggar who was only wearing rags. Immediately, Martin cut his own cloak in two and gave one half to the beggar to prevent him from freezing to death. It turned out that the beggar was Jesus.

St. Martin’s Day is much anticipated by children, when in the evening a procession is held around the neighbourhood carrying home-made lanterns and singing traditional songs.

Back when I was a little girl in Zurich I used to sing:

Laterne, Laterne
Sonne, Mond und Sterne,
Brenne aus mein Licht, brenne aus mein Licht
Aber nur meine liebe Laterne nicht.

Lantern, Lantern,
Sun, Moon and Stars,
Shine my little light, shine my light light
But don’t set fire to my lantern.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this information, I'll tell about it to my husband Martin!

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