Sankt Martin was seen galloping about on his trusty horse on Sunday night in Haig Park, amidst the many children and families with their beautiful lanterns, at this year’s German Lantern Walk.
Many Spielwelt families and their guests rugged up and braved the authentic-German-winter night air, to join the festivities.
There was music throughout the event: Mike and his wonderful hand-crafted traditional German Drehorgel, an ambient guitar, a peppy brass and wind quintent including one of our talented scouts, the sweet tones of the Pfadfinder Joey & Cub choir, and of course the many voices of families participating in the walk who had no doubt been practicing the lantern walk songs at home.
The food was, of course, delicious and warmed our hands, stomachs and souls. There were scrumptious home-made soups, German Bratwurst (from the Brathaus) served on buns with onions and steaming sauerkraut (and thanks to our cracker-jack team of efficient BBQ volunteers we had very short queues this year), fresh breads, traditional Weckmaenner (who held their own lantern parade before coming to ours, judging by the photo below), a mouth-watering array of Nachtisch (desserts) all baked and donated by our wonderful families, and of course, the ever popular Kinderpunsch and Gluehwein served up by our all-time-favourite Gluehwein team. (Craving more? Recipes here!)
We are keen to be green, so proper mugs, cups and bowls were all provided instead of disposable ones (thanks to an ACT government multicultural grant) in our continued efforts to reduce waste.
Thus nourished, the crowds gathered to sing some of the songs, guided by the lyrics (projected onto the side of our new shed), before setting off on the walk.
The procession headed out into the park, lanterns bobbing along and brightening our paths, as the sounds of singing voices and accompanying instruments floated out through the darkness.
We stopped part way, to form a large circle so the Spiel und Spass children and friends were able to parade their lanterns inside the safety of the circle, while the sweet voices of the Pfadfinder Joeys & Cubs delivered a fine performance of a beautiful lantern song for us, accompanied by the talented guitarist.
Arriving back at the hall, the procession was greeted with baskets of Weckmaenner to eat and share. The children gathered with their lanterns on a large tarp to sit and watch a short play about Sankt Martin stopping in his travels to share his cloak with a poor beggar dressed only in rags at the gates of Amiens. The narration of the interactive play was partly provided by the crowds singing the various verses of a Sankt Martin’s Leid. Inspired by the kindness of Sankt Martin, our families kindly donated just under $100 to our collection tin for Barnados in Canberra.
Following the play, our “after party” enjoyed a bonfire to warm up, before helping to tidy up, wash the dishes and head home.
A huge THANK YOU to all those who helped in all ways great and small, to make this year’s walk an indisputable success. Special kudos goes to Alice who orchestrated the whole event from the planning to the delivery. Danke!