St. Martin’s Day Procession: Germany’s November Bonfire Tradition

24 Festive Tasks: Door 2 – Guy Fawkes Night, Bonus Task #1:

Post pictures of past or present bonfires, fireworks (IF THEY’RE LEGAL) or sparklers.

As a kid, one of my favorite holiday traditions used to be the St. Martin’s Day processions:

The holiday celebrates St. Martin of Tours (France), a 4th century Roman military commander who, upon meeting a beggar one cold winter’s night, is said to have split his warm cloak in two halves, using his sword, to then pass on one half to the beggar.

St. Martin’s charitable deed is remembered, on the day of his burial (November 11), by a lantern procession led by a rider dressed up as a Roman military officer, followed by the local children bearing lanterns. Many of these lanterns are home-made. The processions end up in the community’s main square, where a big bonfire is lit in honor of the saint.

Here are a few images showing Bonn’s main event (not my own photos, though):

(Image sources: here, here, here and here.)

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