On November 11, Germany traditionally celebrates Saint Martin’s Day. Originally a Catholic holiday to honor the kind Roman soldier, who shared his cloak with a beggar on a freezing winter night, Saint Martin’s Day quickly became a holiday loved by everyone for its festive lantern parades.
Many German schools and German communities here in California carry on this beloved tradition and invite to their own version of a lantern parade.
In the following, please find a collection of lantern parades happening in Southern and Northen California.
GPSSD – German Pacific School of San Diego
Sunday, November 5th
Time: 3:30pm – 6:00pm
Where: Mission Bay Park, Crown Point North, 3700 Corona Oriente Rd San Diego, CA 92109
Join GPSSD for a Lantern Fest with BBQ and bonfire at Crowne Point Park in Pacific Beach (North Parking Lot). Mission Bay Park
The younger kids are invited to go on a traditional lantern walk (5:30pm!!) and sing lantern songs (Laternenlieder).
The older students and everyone, who doesn’t want to go on the walk can just hang out at the fire or at the beach.
The GPSSD Lanternfest
has traditionally been a fun and special event and a great opportunity to meet new families. Bring your beach chairs and a dish to share for our half-potluck.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, ph: (858) 461-9118
GermanSchoolCampus – Old World Huntington Beach
Saturday, November 18th
Time: 4:00 – 7:30pm
Where: Old World Huntington Beach, 7561 Center Ave., Huntington Beach, CA 92647
German School campus and Old World Huntington Beach invite to a festive Lantern Parade around the little village of Old World to celebrate the story of Saint Martin.
Registration is from 4 pm – 5:30 pm during which hot chocolate, coffee and cake and also “Weckmännchen”, a traditional pastry, will be available for purchase. A short performance, telling the story of Saint Martin, will be followed by the lantern parade starting at 6:15 pm. (Lanterns available for purchase)
This is a festive family event. Stay on after for the lantern contest results and to celebrate the season with Old World’s goulash soup and hot cider.
Contact: GermanSchool campus at (949)285-0829
German American School Association ( GASA)
Saturday, Nov. 18
Time: 5pm – 7pm
Where: Christus Kirche (First German Methodist Church), 556 W Glenoaks Blvd, Glendale, CA 91202
GASA teachers and students of GASA Kinderland in Glendale and of the Northridge School will participate in the annual lantern parade at the Christus Kirche (First German United Methodist Church) in Glendale.
Thursday, Nov. 9th
Time: 6 pm – 8 pm
Where: 475 Pope Street, Menlo Park, California 94025
Join Alto School for a traditional German St. Martin’s lantern parade, sing-a-long and a shadow theatre performance about the legend of St. Martin. Don’t forget to bring your lantern. The event is organized by the Alto preschool and elementary school.
Contact: Alto International, Ph: (650) 324-8617
Laternenfest at Bay Area Kinderstube in Albany
Saturday, November 11
Time: 4:00 – 7:00pm
Where: 842 Key Route Boulevard, Albany, CA 94706
Join us and celebrate the annual German tradition of St. Martin’s Day with Bay Area Kinderstube.
We welcome the season with St. Martin’s Day songs and play, performed by our preschoolers, followed by a magical lantern-procession around the neighborhood – open for everyone to join. Enjoy German staples like Bratwurst, baked goods, mulled wine and much more in a festive atmosphere.
Contact: BAKS Kinderstube, Ph: 510-525-3105
German International School Silicon Valley (GISSV)
Sunday, Nov 12
Where: 4 + 5 Funston Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94129
The Laternenfest at SF Campus of GISSV
started celebrating the wonderful tradition of the lantern parades with the public 3 years ago with their own version and called it Laternenfest. It is an event that our students and community look forward to every year! Friends and the larger Bay Area community are invited to join in the merriment!
Our event on Sunday, Nov 12 will again offer Lantern making, kids games, face painting and a few special performances by GISSV SF students. And look out for the German food truck and bake sale! It all end ends with an enchanting lantern-lit walk through the Presidio.
Contact: GISSV SF, Ph: (650) 254-0748
German Language School of Marin
Saturday, Nov 11th
Where: 2 Locations: Santa Rosa & Novato (see below)
Laternenfest in Novato and Santa Rosa! Lantern Festival, Music Parade, and Refreshments! For the lantern parade, we’ll meet at the locations below to light our lanterns (with flameless candles) before beginning our parade. Afterwards, we will have hot chocolate and Weckmänner (jumbo bread men) available if desired. The parade is FREE! Only $5 per person if you would like Weckmänner afterward. Everyone is welcome, so bring friends!
We will meet on Saturday, November 11 at 5:30pm at Pioneer Park in Novato (map it). Help us plan! Please RSVP to Carolyn Bopp or let us know during school on Saturday if you would like to join us and would like Weckmänner.
In Santa Rosa
We will meet on Saturday, November 11 at 5:30pm at our school campus in Santa Rosa (map it). Please RSVP to Christine Campbell by email or let us know during school on Saturday if you would like to join us and would like Weckmänner.
German American School Palo Alto (GASPA)
Saturday, November 11th
Time: 5:30 – 8:00pm
Where: Alto International School Campus (475 Pope Str. Menlo Park)
Join GASPA for its annual St. Martin’s Laternenumzug at the Campus of Alto International School in Menlo Park. The event will start with a shadow play about the legend of St. Martin as well as introduce the traditional lantern songs. Following the play, everyone is invited to join for a walk through the neighborhood with their lit lanterns while singing songs. The parade will end with a final song together in a candlelight circle.
There will be refreshments, which include Martinsmännchen, Frankfurter Sausages, Pretzels, and Hot Cider will be available for sale before and after the parade.
Contact: GASPA, Ph: (650) 520-2346
Tivoli Rainbow Preschool in Los Angeles
Wednesday, November 15th
Lantern parade – More Information to follow. Please contact the school. Ph: (310)301.9147
Credits: Lantern Image created by Pia Elbe