Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Laterne, Laterne!

It's always a breath taking event. Lanterns twinkling in the frosty dark; strumming of guitars and the echos of trumpets; soft singing broken by the odd cry from a baby. First, the group gathers to light the lanterns and there is always much excitement as the small children are entrusted with the burning candle in their homemade paper lanterns.

The group sets off on parade through the neighborhood, singing as they stroll. The songs are quiet and repetitive, even the small children can sing the refrains.

The parade winds its way back to the start and the kids are met by a roaring bonfire. Hot drinks, bread and sweets are passed around and the singing resumes. This time the songs are old favorites and the beat picks up.

The fire burns down and the candles go out. The evening is finished. Everyone goes home filled with images of twinkling lanterns and thoughts of the generous St. Martin.

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