Saturday, November 24

laterne laufen*

me & my mother in-law Birgit, taken by boho boy

After our bellies were full from one of the best Thanksgiving dinners I've ever had...we decided to go Lantern Walking (laterne laufen). This is a German tradition that is done once a year during St. Martin's day. Families gather and walk at night with lanterns lighting their way. Boho Boy and his mom were talking about it towards the end of our feast and I said..."let's do it" and we did just that. We brought their German celebration to my little neighborhood and with our lanterns walked to the Mission church and back.

Bundled up in my scarf, walking hand in hand with the love of my life and his dear mother, holding onto a lantern in the crisp Fall air....it just couldn't get any more dreamy for me that night.

It's always fun to try something completely out of the ordinary. We decided to welcome that tradition into our lil' family when we have children in the near future.

Walking not only felt physically healthy but the silent night around us and the lanterns light guiding our steps quieted my mind and brought peace to my heart. It was a beautiful way to close the chapter on an evening in honor of gratefulness and thanksgiving.


Blogger Toni M Photography said...

Sounds dreamy. What a lovely way to end a day of gratefulness and thanks.

Big hugs,
Love Toni

November 24, 2007 at 3:01:00 PM PST  
Blogger Silvia said...

i think it is an old dutch tradition also. hardly anyone does it anymore on st. martin's day i think. but once a year, when i was little, all the children in town would gather (i can't remember for which occasion it was) and walk around town with lanterns. i so want to do it again when i think of it. thanks for letting this memory surface :)


November 24, 2007 at 3:24:00 PM PST  
Blogger Jennifer/The Word Cellar said...

how very lovely. (as is everything i find here!) i've been aching to create new traditions and rituals in my life, and this could be a wonderful addition. thank you for sharing.

November 24, 2007 at 4:52:00 PM PST  
Blogger bee said...

i'd never heard of this before...the way you described it sounded so perfect. (hug) good rituals make me very happy. i'm glad you are discovering a new one for your family.

November 24, 2007 at 7:31:00 PM PST  
Blogger madelyn said...

This is so lovely and
magical ~ I love to light lanterns
on my front porch ~ and now
I want to race out and walk
to the beach with a lantern!

I love this!!!!

Pretty photo and joyous new
tradition for your family:)

November 24, 2007 at 8:00:00 PM PST  
Blogger Kirsten Michelle said...

what a beautiful tradition, sweetie.
i love the magic we can create when we say "let's do it", sometimes i don't say it quite often enough.
thank you for this lovely reminder ;-)

November 24, 2007 at 8:11:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bet your mother in law is so happy you are her daughter in law. You both seem like kindered spirits.

November 24, 2007 at 10:13:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what a magical tradition!
i can totally see you, boho boy, and mini boho sweet pea, all dressed in cozy scaves and hats with your lanterns.


November 25, 2007 at 12:17:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How sweet! I love this tradition. My husband is from Europe and it's been so nice to learn his traditions and intigrate them into our little family too.

November 25, 2007 at 6:09:00 AM PST  
Blogger Lady Prism said...


What a very beautiful meaningful tradition...

I must admit, this is the first I have heard of such.

Wish..I could do that as well where I live...

November 25, 2007 at 6:31:00 AM PST  
Blogger Stacy said...

what a magical thing to do, i am so happy you did this and will for years to come. i have such a lovely visual in my head of the three of you walking with your lanterns.

i want to do the brazilian new years tradition with you all, where everyone wears white , makes wishes on roses and dances on the beach.... it's good luck.


November 25, 2007 at 8:24:00 AM PST  
Blogger Swirly said...

What a beautiful tradition. You are a bright light in my life, my dear, and I am thankful I can walk through this life with you helping to light my way.

November 25, 2007 at 11:37:00 AM PST  
Blogger Anna said...

That sounds amazing~ I'm inspired to try it out!

November 25, 2007 at 1:03:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I came here today I first thought I was wrong because the first words I read were in my native tongue. *g*

Yes, lantern walking on or around St. Martin's Day is a tradition in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. When I was little we had cylindric or ball-shaped lanterns made of colorful paper. Those were often selfmade in kindergarten and elemntary schools but you could (and still can) purchase them as well at a low price.
You can see a child with such a lantern here: http://img.fotocommunity.com/photos/7217171.jpg
and here are some more: http://www.blogwiese.ch/archives/40

It used to be a widespread tradition in kindergarten and elementary schools to go on a lantern walk together and you still can see such groups of children with their teachers on a lantern procession ("Laternenumzug") around St. Martin's Day. For the children it's always a highlight of autumn.

A few days ago I went for a walk in the evening and met a family with their children on a lantern walk with exactly the kind of paper lanterns I used to know. It was a delightful moment that remembered me of this beautiful tradition of my childhood.

I am happy to see that it is still kept alive and that even people on the other side of the ocean are beginning to get fond of it. :)


November 25, 2007 at 7:02:00 PM PST  
Blogger Gina (Lady Goats) said...

i can tell that it was more lovely than I envisioned, and that is to say something.

i am quite sad to say that we have no traditions, really. the celebration of thanksgiving is only a "maybe" occasion. "Maybe if I'm feeling up to it" or "Maybe if I don't have to work"... There are no "musts" when it comes to birthdays, christmas or new years. So it makes me happy to see that there are still people who uphold and honor the traditions of people before.

November 25, 2007 at 7:52:00 PM PST  
Blogger Maggie Ann. said...

hello, this space you have in the universe is gorgeous. i love reading you magical words.

this is a lovely lovely light you have brought into my heart tonight.

November 25, 2007 at 9:01:00 PM PST  
Blogger Claudia said...

Laternenfest is so wonderful...I´m glad you have discovered it and will carry on the tradition.

November 25, 2007 at 11:27:00 PM PST  
Blogger bambi kann beißen said...

Hello, I´m from germany. Nice to read about an German tradition.

I´m visit your blog, because your photos are so wonderful and magical.

Best wishes from

November 26, 2007 at 4:15:00 AM PST  
Blogger Unknown said...

That is soooo cool.

November 26, 2007 at 9:11:00 AM PST  

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