A German tradition for St. Martin's day (around November 11) children walk in procession, lighting the night with colorful home-made lanterns (laternelaufen). Once the parade (laternenumzug) is over, children visit house to house for treats, similar to the U.S. custom of Halloween.
St. Martin's Day (Martinstag) is a Catholic holiday and it celebrates modesty and altruism. It is named after a Roman soldier, later known as Martin of Tours. The legend states that he saved a homeless person from freezing to death by giving him half of his cloak during a snowstorm. It is very popular among children and often celebrated with a small lantern parade. The children walk with their lanterns and sing songs along the way.
In our Laternelaufen mold, each child in the procession holds a different shaped lantern on a pole. The children are wearing traditional German costumes. Traditionally, children walking with lanterns for Laternelaufen are symbolic of "bringing light into the world".
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