The EY1 had their first field trip to Pune Paper Factory in Shivajinagar on Friday 11th November which deliberately coincided with the Lantern Festival celebrated in Germany. They spent most of their morning in the factory creating paper lanterns with their parents. Each parent and child team worked collaboratively and produced 11 unique lanterns under the guidance of Manasi and her team. Everyone seemed pleased with their hard work and were delighted to take their lanterns home. They also appreciated the guided tour of the factory and were in awe of the machines that shredded, churned, mixed and transformed raw materials into beautiful paper for many purposes.
Here is Rian and his family sharing how Lantern Fest or St Martin’s Day is celebrated by young children across Germany.
November 11 is the day of St. Martin in Germany. On this day, the holy Roman soldier Martin is celebrated. According to legend, he saved a homeless man from freezing to death by cutting his coat in half and giving one half of his coat to the homeless man.
For this day, children make lanterns and, in the evening, they walk through the streets with the lanterns. St. Martin’s songs are sung during the procession. The Saint Martin procession with the lanterns is usually led by a knight with a red coat on a horse. After the procession, the role play of “sharing the coat” is presented to the children to encourage them to help and share with others. At the end there is often a St. Martin’s bonfire.