Who was St. Martin and why do we have a Lantern Parade
On November 11th we celebrate St. Martin ,a European folk tradition .
Martin was born in Hungary but lived later on in Italy. It is the year of 371 and Martin was a soldier in the Roman army when he became Bishop of Tours. He is best known for the account of his using of his military sword to cut his red cloak in two pieces to share it with a beggar clad only in rugs in the deep of winter. When he died his corpse was transported in a boat to the city of Tours as a cortege of light was set up to guide him for the last time.
On St. Martin’s day children in the North-West part of the Netherlands, in Germany and Austria participate in a Lantern Parade.
Often a man dressed as St. Martin rides a white horse in front of the Lantern Parade. Children sing songs about St. Martin and about their Lanterns. The food traditionally that day is a goose. According to the Legend, Martin was reluctant to become Bishop, which is why he hid in a stable filled with geese. The noise made by the geese betrayed his location to the people who were looking for him.
St. Martin is the Saint of many places, cities and countries in the world.