Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Come to Christkindlmarkt!

A wonderful annual event for families will kick off the holiday season this weekend.

Sheila here. I'll be at the Germania Society's Christkindlmarkt this Saturday to lead the lantern parade. Children will parade through Germania Park, in a tradition which dates back to the 300's A.D. The children carry lanterns as they sing and walk to the bon fire where each child will receive a Sankt Martin's Weck (a pastry honoring St. Martin).

Catholics who live in Europe celebrate the feast day of St. Martin, who lived from 317 to 397 A.D. He was always very generous and even gave away some of his military earnings (while he was still a Roman soldier) to needy farm families. He is most famous for one special deed: When he was returning to his home on his military horse and a beggar stepped into his path and asked him for alms. Martin had just given away his last coins, but he did not think it was right to just ride past the beggar. He decided, to share his warm wool coat (in German it is called a Mantel). He took his sword and cut the coat in half, gave the beggar one half and kept the other half. He felt if both had half a coat, they had a better chance not to die in the cold winter weather.

Martin later became a monk, and all of his good deeds and his generosity resulted in him being chosen as a Bishop of Tours. The lantern parade starting Saturday at 6:30 is a wonderful opportunity to learn about and celebrate German childhood traditions.

St. Nikolaus and Santa Claus will also be at Germania Park this weekend to visit with children, and live Christmas trees will be for sale. You can also find lot of German goodies like pastries, Christmas ornaments, Advent calendars, and toys and puzzles. Of course, Germania Society is well known for its wonderful cooks, so lots of German food will be on the menu along with Gluhwein (Hot Mulled Wine). Live entertainment is planned all weekend long.

Germania Society's Christkindlmarkt runs this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Germania Park. Kids younger than 14 get in free, and admission is only $3.00 for everyone else. A heated pavilion will help you get in out of the cold. I hope to see you there! Learn more at

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