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/ Main / News / Traditional March with Lanterns held in Odessa on St. Martins Day

Placed: 12.11.2012 11:19:39

Traditional March with Lanterns held in Odessa on St. Martins Day

On November 11, Odessa’s German Evangelical-Lutheran community held the traditional Lanternenumzug («March with Lanterns») in honor of St. Martin’s Day.

On November 11, 2012, Odessa’s German Evangelical-Lutheran community held the traditional Lanternenumzug («March with Lanterns») in honor of St. Martin’s Day.


St. Martin is one of the most honored saint in all the Christian confessions. He is honored by the Catholics, the Orthodox believers and the Protestants. He is especially worshipped in France, Switzerland and Southern Germany. In the Orthodox Church he is known as Saint Martin the Merciful, Bishop of Tours.


The celebration started at 4:30 p.m. in St. Paul’s Church of Odessa (Lutheran church).


St. Martin’s Day is one of the brightest fests of the Lutheran Church. This day, the traditional Laternenumzug (March with Lanterns) took place. Kids got prepared for this event beforehand and make lanterns out of paper with their own hands, and candles were inserted in these lanterns then. In the evening, kids together with the parents gathered near the church and organized the festive march. The grown-ups were carrying burning torches, and the kids walked with the paper lanterns with lit candles.
After the march, the kids were treated with sweets and candies.


St. Martin’s Days is a truly Christian fest and has a deep spiritual meaning.
Mercy is the main idea of this holiday. Remembering St, Martin, people think of Compassion, Mercy and Love brought to us by Jesus Christ. Kids learn to love their neighbors and help the ones who are in scarce need of help.



Martin of Tours (Latin: Sanctus Martinus Turonensis; 316 – November 8, 397) was a Bishop of Tours, whose shrine became a famous stopping-point for pilgrims on the road to Santiago de Compostela. Around his name, much legendary material accrued, and he has become one of the most familiar and recognizable Christian saints. He is considered a spiritual bridge across Europe, given his association with both France and Hungary.




His life was recorded by a contemporary, the hagiographer Sulpicius Severus. Some of the accounts of his travels may have been interpolated into his vita to validate early sites of his cult. He is a patron saint of soldiers and horses.

While Martin was still a soldier in the Roman army and deployed in Gaul (modern day France), he experienced the vision that became the most-repeated story about his life. One day as he was approaching the gates of the city of Amiens he met a scantily clad beggar. He impulsively cut his own military cloak in half and shared it with the beggar. That night, Martin dreamed of Jesus wearing the half-cloak he had given away. He heard Jesus say to the angels: "Here is Martin, the Roman soldier who is not baptized; he has clad me." (Sulpicius, ch 2). In another story, when Martin woke, his cloak was restored, and the miraculous cloak was preserved among the relic collection of the Merovingian kings of the Franks.

Small temporary churches were built for the relic and people began to refer to them by the word for little cloak "capella" that these churches housed. Eventually small churches lost their association with the cloak and all small churches began to be referred to as Chapels.


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