In many areas of Germany children will go out tonight with their lanterns and sing this song.

But why?

The 11 November is St Martin’s Day (Martinstag). Martin was a Roman soldier who was always very kind and helpful. One legend tells the story of Martin meeting a beggar in a snowstorm. Martin cut his cloak in half and shared it with the beggar so that he wouldn’t die of the cold. That night he dreamt of Jesus saying that Martin shared the cloak with him. For more information about St Martin check out Wikipedia

The following video shows another song the children may sing, as it’s about the legend of St Martin and the beggar.

This brings back so many memories! I can see myself as a seven year old walking along with my paper lantern and singing … AND getting sweets for it  😉

Did you ever go out to sing (and collect sweets)?

EDIT 2019: I found another video with a great story:

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2 Responses to Ich geh’ mit meiner Laterne

  1. […] starting date of the German carnival season is the 11th of the 11th at 11 minutes past 11 on St Martin’s Day. That has been happening since the 19th century but apparently something similar has been happening […]

  2. […] about St Martin and the German tradition of going round with lanterns singing St Martin songs: Ich geh’ mit meiner Laterne  Today, again on the 11th November, I’d like to continue with […]

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