Saint Martin’s Parade at ISR

Friday, 08 November 2019

Once again, over a hundred ISR students together with their parents took part in the ISR St. Martin Parade on the grounds of the sports club PSV Neuss. Our students happily walked around the entire square, led by St. Martin on his horse, with their homemade lanterns in hand. During the parade, all sang St. Martin’s songs accompanied by a small orchestra with various instruments.

Ms. Lyons, our school director, started the event with a few welcoming words. Afterward, Ms. Ghica and Ms. Morris read the story of St. Martin, in German and English, in order to give everyone an understanding for the background of the custom and the parade. At the end of the ‘Martinszug’ everyone gathered on the ISR school grounds to end the evening with twisted bread on a stick and warm drinks at the bonfire. One of the highlights was the distribution of Weckmännern  to our students, which St. Martin himself handed over from his horse.

We would like to thank our Parent Network for the great organisation of the parade, the workshop for homemade lanterns and all the helpers who contributed to this successful evening! We would also like to express our gratitude to our families, whose numerous participation in the event once again clearly showed how strong the cohesion in the ISR community is and how traditions from all over the world are appreciated and welcomed. Last but not least, we would like to thank Bauhaus in Neuss for sponsoring some fire baskets and the Metro Neuss for sponsored sweets.

Background information: St. Martin

For all families who do not know the St. Martin’s tradition: every year around November 11, children with colorful lanterns roam the dark streets and sing happy St. Martin and lantern songs. So who was St. Martin? St. Martin was a Roman soldier born in 316 AD. According to the legend, on a cold winter’s day, he passed a starving and freezing beggar. Martin felt so sorry for him that he cut his coat with his sword and gave the beggar half of his coat. In the night, Martin dreamed about the beggar who revealed himself as Jesus Christ. After this experience, Martin wanted to be baptized. Later, he became Bishop of the city of Tours (now in France) and today is the patron saint of several professional groups.