David shows off the St. Martin’s Lantern that he made in school as part of a class project to participate in the annual St. Martin’s Day Eve Procession.
David waits beside his pumpkin – now a Jack ‘O Lantern – while waiting to join the St. Martin’s Day Eve Procession.
St. Martin of Tours lived from 316 – 398 AD, and was a charitable Roman soldier, a monk and the Bishop of Tours, France – and he is celebrated on November 11th every year.
The Feast Day of St. Martin is celebrated in Europe on November 11th – the St. Martin’s Procession is on the eve proceeding his Feast Day.
David takes a look at the caged goose that will be pulled by the school children as part of the celebration – which is similar to our Thanksgiving.
The crowd of parents and their children begins to gather and assemble for the entrance of St. Martin riding a horse and dressed as a Roman soldier.
The children carry paper lanterns they made in school, while some of the parents have flaming torches to light the way along the procession route to the roaring bonfire.
Children pull the carriage containing the goose to start the procession – my old camera used to reveal these ghost-like images on the film at night.
The lanterns for the children used to be illuminated with tea candles, but the fire hazard was discontinued with the arrival of an electric lamp version instead.
St. Martin leads the procession dressed as a Roman soldier on horseback, while the horse seems to by spooked from either the flash of my camera or the ghost image that developed on the film in front of him.
David takes his turn pulling the goose carriage with another boy, while the bonfire in the distance reveals the procession’s destination – with yet another ghost image appearing on the film.
We seemed to have left the ghost image behind, and this photo shows David and another boy pulling the goose carriage – with the distant bonfire in the darkness.
The bonfire glows in the distance – started and fueled by the local fire department with a firetruck standing by for safety.
Another view of the distant bonfire with David pulling the goose carriage alongside all the children participating in the procession.
David and another boy pull the goose carriage as the bonfire is now close at hand for all to gather around – and await the giant, fresh, soft baked pretzels that will be handed out to all the participants.
St. Martin on horseback and the children stay a safe distance upwind from the bonfire – as the firemen keep watch nearby beside their fire engine.
The bonfire becomes a raging inferno as the accumulated pile of wood from the forest fuels the never ending appetite of the flames.
With the flames of the bonfire raging in the darkness, St. Martin will soon begin the process of handing out the soft baked pretzels to the children – reenacting the charitable kindness of the once Roman soldier, monk and later Bishop of Tours, France.