German Traditions on St. Martin's Day
St. Martin’s day or Martinifest is much anticipated by children, especially in more rural areas of Germany. During the evening of 11th November, they light lanterns and walk from house to house, asking and being given, sweets or little gifts. The traditional nursery rhyme they sing is this:
Sonne, Mond und Sterne,
Brenne aus mein Licht, brenne aus mein Licht
Aber nur meine liebe Laterne nicht.
Sun, Moon and Stars,
Shine my little light, shine my light light
But don’t set fire to my lantern.
There is also an evening prayer for children which begins with the words:
St. Martin, teil den Mantel aus,
mach Schirm und Schutz für uns daraus..
St. Martin, distribute your coat,
Build shelter for us from it.