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St Martin Lantern Parade

A Tradition Through Generations

St Martin Lantern Parade – A Tradition Through Generations

Can we assume that St. Martin (350 A.D.) still fits into today’s time? As teachers we are always faced with the question whether “traditions oblige” and so we tell the students and parents the story of St. Martin and the beggar, when we came together on November 11th in Old World Village, Huntington Beach, CA, for the St. Martin lantern parade:

“It was cold that day. Mighty cold. The people preferred to stay in their houses, hardly anyone dared go out into the street. The wind was icy, it was snowing, and it was like it would never warm up again. But one was on the street that day, one who had no roof over his head, a beggar.
With his teeth clattering and half frozen, he squatted huddled together at the city gate. He had nothing clever to put on, he was almost naked. He whimpered from the cold. But another one was on the road that day. Martin was called the Man, a soldier on horseback. Quick as the wind he rode with a blowing cloak through the deserted streets. Still through the city gate and he would be at home.
But – what was that? Martin stopped the horse to trot more slowly. That was but – indeed! Somebody was sitting there. A man. Martin looked at him. Hardly he was wearing. And how he trembled with sheer cold. Next to him remained the horse.
Martin didn’t think long. Without further ado he took off his coat, pulled out his sword and divided with it the cloak in the middle. He gave half of his coat to the beggar, and even before he knew what happened to him, Martin galloped away too.
The beggar gratefully wrapped himself in the half of his coat. How warm it was and how good it was. For a long time, he looked after Martin.”

Sankt Martin

During the week we had a pre-relief session about St. Martin in order to illustrate the story to the students and how they can deal with a beggar today:
“Anyone can be a beggar, beggars don’t just sit at the roadside. Beggars are sometimes among us – at school, in the family, in our free time, in the neighborhood; because everyone sometimes needs something that might be missing.
Sample: It is Tim who forgot his lunch at home. With a growling stomach he looks at Max, who is about to bite into his ham sandwich. Max notices that Tim is watching him. Without further ado he divides his bread and gives Tim half.
“What is divided here – how is a boy helped?”
Martin had a big heart for others.
“How can you help others or what can you share with others?
“Sometimes, I need help,
sometimes I can’t do it alone,
I’ll beg for advice then, or for a hand,
or around feet that accompany me.
Sometimes, I’m a beggar too.”

October 3rd

October – A Month Rich in Historical Events in Germany that Shaped the Whole World

Today is October 3rd. A very important date in German history as we are about to learn this month at German class at our school. And there is a lot more history to cover this October.

Bundeskanzler Helmut Kohl winkt während einer Wahlkampfveranstaltung in Erfurt vor einem Meer von Deutschlandfahnen in die Menge (Archivfoto vom 20.02.1990). Zwei Monate nach der Wiedervereinigung ging die christlich-liberale Koalition am 02. Dezember 1990 als klarer Sieger aus der ersten gesamtdeutschen Bundestagswahl hervor. Kohl hatte den Ostdeutschen - im Gegensatz zu seinem Kontrahenten von der SPD - blühende Landschaften versprochen und bei der deutschen Einheit aufs Tempo gedrückt. Foto: Heinz Wieseler (zu dpa-Serie "Bundestagswahl historisch", Teil 6: KORR "Kohl siegt 1990 als 'Kanzler der Einheit' - SPD großer Verlierer" vom 29.08.2005) +++(c) dpa - Bildfunk+++

German-American Heritage Month is also in October with the German American Heritage Day being observed on October 6. We take this as an opportunity here at German School Campus to make our students familiar with some of the important events in German history.

German National Day – Tag der Dt. Einheit

October 3rd commemorates the reunification of Germany. Since World War II had ended the idea of reunification has been on the minds of German politicians and the German people alike.

When the construction of the wall started in August 1961 many Germans saw their hope for a united Germany vanish for good. The wall should divide the city of Berlin permanently, replacing the less effective wire fence that had been used until then.

It caught Berliners, Germans and the world all the more by surprise when on November 9th of 1989 the East German government declared that it would allow its citizen to freely cross the border to visit West Berlin and West Germany. It was a historical moment and dramatic pictures of that time when East and West Germans met again after so many years of separation, keep captivating people from all around the globe.

The man, who left a lasting impact on religion, education and the German language

October 3rd is just one date this month that carries a lot of importance in German history. Another date deems just as important in terms of the changes it brought along that affected not only the Germans but many countries around the world.

October 31. This was the day when Martin Luther, a German priest and theologian from Eisleben (a city in Saxony-Anhalt), nailed his famous 95 theses onto the doors of the castle church in Wittenberg.

Meant initially to simply draw attention to certain practices and teachings of the Catholic Church that he didn’t agree with, this bold action soon started a whole movement that initiated the Protestant Reformation. Today Lutheranism is among the largest branches of Protestantism. Other branches include Calvinism, Baptist churches, Methodism, Anglicanism among many others.

2017, often called the ‘Luther Year’ in Germany, celebrates the 500th anniversary of the Reformation that had been started by this significant event at the castle church in Wittenberg.

But Luther is not only known for his breaking away from the Roman Catholic Church and creating a new religious structure within Christendom, the Lutheran Protestantism.

One common language for all Germans

Martin Luther is also the man, who made religion accessible to everyone in his country by translating the Bible from Latin into ‘colloquial’ German. Now even laymen were able to understand the Bible’s teachings. This event however had a much bigger impact, not only on the religious understanding of a whole society but also on German culture as a whole. By translating the Bible into one ‘common German language’, Luther united Germans through their language. In a sense Luther can be seen as the father of ‘standardized’ German, since until then no single German language existed but a variety of dialects.

Education for ALL

Luther was a born reformer. He changed religious believes, created one German language and also revolutionized the educational system. At his time, education was a privilege, accessible only to the elite and future priests. As the visionary he was, he realized the importance in having the next generation be educated in order to preserve knowledge and cultural heritage. He wanted education be available to everyone including girls! “By the late 16th century, rural German schools were gender balanced” according to an article by Jay Mathews in the Washington Post.

That education needs to be free for everyone, is still a motto that’s driving Germany’s education model even today!


Mark your Calendar with these Upcoming Dates:

  • Look out for the ‘Oktoberfest Table” at the Phoenix Club on October 15th, 2017. More information to follow.
  • Monday, October 2 – Schwarz-Rot-Gold Day : Kick off the week by showing your pride in Germany and the German language—wear Schwarz-Rot-Gold! Whether you’re at school, at work, out in the community or anywhere else, everyone around will know you’re a fan of German. ( Please wear these colors on Thursday, too)
  • Friday, October 6 – Famous German-Americans Day: Hats off to German immigrants to the US and German-Americans! The cultures of the German-speaking world have had an enormous influence on American culture. You’ll find the contributions of German-Americans in every walk of life—actors, athletes, artists, entrepreneurs, fashion designers, musicians, politicians, scientists, teachers, filmmakers, and writers.