St. Martin’s Day

Who was St. Martin?

St. Martin was a knight in Roman times. He was riding his horse when he saw a beggar at the side of the road.

The beggar was freezing cold, so St. Martin cut his cloak in two with his sword, and shared it with him.

Ever since, St. Martin’s Day has been celebrated on 11 November, in honour of this act of kindness.

St. Martin

The St. Martin’s Day procession

St. Martin’s Day is a very special day for me and many other German kids.

After school, my class and I take part in a St. Martin’s procession. We carry home-made lanterns and sing traditional songs. This year my lantern is made from colourful transparent paper.

Click here to find out how to make a lantern for yourself

A St. Martin’s Day procession
A St. Martin’s Day Weckmann

Fantastic food and St. Martin’s Day songs!

In our procession, one of our classmates dresses up as St. Martin and rides along on a horse. After the procession, we usually have a Weckmann and a cup of hot chocolate, standing around a big bonfire.

Ah, by the way: a Weckmann is a sweet bread loaf, in the shape of a man, with raisins for eyes and usually a white clay pipe in his mouth.

When evening comes, my friends and I go and sing songs from door to door. We get rewarded with sweets and other treats!

My favourite St. Martin songs are ‘Laterne, Laterne’ and ‘Ich geh’ mit meiner Laterne!’

Words Ahoy! · Wörter Ahoi!

Deutsch English
der Umzug procession
die Laterne lantern
das Pferd horse
singen to sing
der Ritter knight
das Schwert sword
der Bettler beggar
der Umhang cape


Find out more about St. Martin (in German).