Kids light up London Fields with lanterns for old German tradition on St Martin’s Day

PUBLISHED: 15:15 20 November 2019 | UPDATED: 15:15 20 November 2019

St. Martin's day procession at London Fields. Picture: @crusaderproject

St. Martin's day procession at London Fields. Picture: @crusaderproject


Kids from Hackney’s German Saturday School made their own lanterns and showed them off at a procession in London Fields to celebrate St Martin’s Day last week.

Jake Hoban, chair of the German Community School in Hackney, told the Gazette about the common German tradition.

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He said: "The story goes that [St Martin] was riding through the snow when he saw a poor man dressed in rags and freezing. He stopped his horse, cut his coat in half with his sword and gave half to the poor man."

"There's an element of celebrating charity and caring for your neighbour - as well as just having fun with lanterns in the darkness."

The school is bilingual and open to families where at least one parent speaks German. Kids who attend often have German, Swiss or Austrian heritage.

"We sing songs, do crafts and for the older children we have more formal learning activities [and] also organise events," Jake said.

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