Friday, November 27, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

American Thanksgiving in Germany has been kind unique the last two years. With our kids in German Schule, we don't get a long weekend, and hubby was "on a business trip" last year.  It's not that we're not thankful, and it's not that we didn't have anything to do.  It just truly doesn't feel quite like Thanksgiving when we have to set our alarms to get up and get ready to go to school. 

Nevertheless, we enjoyed ourselves immensely at the Chapel's dinner yesterday, and at the temporary ice rink downtown today after school. We needed a warm beverage, so walked a bit further to the Weihnachts Markt and grabbed a few more mugs as souveniers--filled with the most delicious hot chocolate ever!  Most importantly, we ate leftover pumpkin pie for breakfast today. 

We're standing at the foot of this HUGE pyramid... below it is the warm beverage bar.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

St. Martin's Day 2015

We've been anticipating today (more specifically tonight) for a while. St. Martin is one of our family's favorite saints, since he's the father of the Chaplaincy.  That story I'll save for another post.  But he's also well-loved in Catholic and Protestant churches because of his selflessness and charity. Here's more information about St. Martin, and how he is celebrated around the world.  

Below are photos of our preparations and participation in the Martinszug, and Martinsfeuer. 

Laternebasteln Nachmittag.  Lantern Decorating afternoon (on a FRIDAY at 3:30).
That's prime real estate in my family's calendar! 

And why WOULDN'T we want to go?  This kid is really proud of his Igel (hedgehog).

Die andere Seite.

A little party after the lanterns were finished.

 Tonight, at the Katholischer Kirche 

 Walking through the streets with the lanterns, carrying the light of Christ to the world... pretty cool, no?  I'll admit that only one man was singing.  Kind of disappointing.  I tried practicing the songs at home today before heading out, but I didn't learn them well enough to sing along.  The darkness added a measure of  difficulty to walk and read German at the same time! Look at the pics at the bottom of this post to see the songs we sang.

St. Martin!

The streets were flooded with people.  
This is the main street through the middle of our village.
The Jugendfeuerwehr (junior firefighters) helped build and tend this fire.

THIS party was way better than the one we attended last year at the Kindergarten. Maybe it's because I'm feeling more at home here in Germany than I did a year ago.  Maybe it's because my kids were running around like crazy playing with their classmates and having a GREAT time.  We bought some Gl├╝wein to keep our hands warm, and sat around soaking up the sights and sounds of a very different culture.  

Below are pictures of the song leaflet.  We used this during the worship service before the walk.  I hope to sing these next year, even if we're not in Germany. What a great memory we made tonight!