Community St. Martin’s Lantern Festival

Two kids at lantern table

Vancouver, November 10, 2022 Tuesday brought over 50 lanterns to the St Mark’s Church, mainly home-made creations of children from the Vancouver Westside German School, but also the East Vancouver German School and the greater German Community in Metro Vancouver. Over 30 families came together to celebrate the St. Martin’s Festival usually held November 11th with traditional St. Martin’s activities: Watch a play, take a processional walk with a lantern to a nearby park and sing, as well as get a Weckmann or Stutenkerl and drink hot chocolate. In really traditional places in Germany, they might light up a bonfire (against our city by-laws) or cook a roast goose for dinner, but alas that was not on the menu.

A big thank you to Ute Steves for the good organization and the willingness to try something new, as well as inviting me representing Westcoast German News to participate and report.

The children were able to order cake by donation.

They could also purchase German books – both fiction and non-fiction.

Their lanterns were placed on long tables for the judges to be able to choose the five best ones among them.

Ute Steves, Principal of the Westside German School and Susanne Sonntag, administrator of the Westside German School are standing on either side of the Deputy Consul General Hans Stocker and his wife Ursula.

Pastor Ingrid Doerschel of the St. Mark’s Evangelical Church, Deputy Consul General and wife, as well as Carola von Hahn of the German Canadian Care Home were happy for this chance to bring the German Community of Vancouver together.

There were also some members of the German Canadian Business Association myself, Steven and Kecia. Steven also represents the Alpenplattlers.

First everybody had to assemble and find a spot to sit. Ingrid and Anje were the two MC’s.

Then there were the speeches.

The evening started with a St. Martin’s play that was performed by random members of the audience with no chance to practice before-hand, and it was amazingly well done! I would also like to especially mention Pastor Ingrid who has an excellent singing voice and Antje, who helped keep things moving on the stage. Everybody seemed to enjoy themselves.

I was particularly impressed with young Martin, who had a horse the audience named “Banana”. Here “he” is handing out bread to a hungry person.

It was time to practice singing

The Lantern judges were Carola, Ann-Kathrin, a representative from the St. Mark’s Church and Ursula Stocker. The judges had to choose between watching and possibly participating in the play or staying in the basement to choose the 5 best lanterns. I was asked to be a judge, but then ended up performing in the play as a singer, so that is why I ended up not helping the judges. It was probably a good thing, as it would have been really tough to make the decision on which was the top 5 decorated lanterns on the table.

After the play, the children went on a walk around the block to a local park and then stood and sang “Sankt Martin”, “Ich geh mit meiner Laterne” and “Laterne, Laterne, Sonne, Mond und Sterne.

“Brenne auf mein Licht, Brenne auf mein Licht”, aber nur meine liebe Laterne nicht!”

Ute Steves handed out the home-made Weckmänner with their cutest little pipes and after some hot chocolate, everybody went home.

About the Vancouver Westside German School

We offer a widely recognized high quality K-12 German after-school language program. Ideally students join our program at the age of 5 or 6 and progress on to high school. Students who would like to join our program at a later stage, must be able to speak/read/write in German at the same level as their peers. We teach German as a foreign language and German as a second language. To that end we stream our students throughout the entire program into a second language stream and a foreign language stream. (For additional information please see Classes).

Our program reflects a variety of language levels including German language introduction in Kindergarten, progression at the elementary level, exam classes for provincial high school credits, and the German language diploma, which is a language proficiency requirement for admission to any German, Austrian and Swiss university. Students learn German with us once a week after regular school hours. Junior classes (ages 5 to 10) are held on Tuesdays from 4:15 pm to 6:30 pm, and senior students (10 years and up) attend classes on Wednesdays from 4:30 pm to 6:45 pm, at Prince of Wales Secondary School.

About the St. Mark’s Church

Enjoy worshiping in an inspiring and comfortable church setting. St. Mark’s worship services are taking place in one of Vancouver’s heritage buildings. Those who come for the first time realize that the people of St. Mark’s love their church. The tender loving care is evident everywhere. Most important of all it is evident in being part of the St. Mark’s family. We have a more than 60 years of history in Vancouver, welcoming each other into the fellowship of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Vancouver’s St. Mark’s Evangelical-Lutheran Church is a group of down to earth Christians who have a love for the Lord.

Sunday German Worship Services are at 9:30 am and English Worship Services are at 11:00 am. Pastor Ingrid (Cramer) – Doerschel works together with a terrific team of dedicated Christians to make the Kingdom of God a reality in our shaken world. We have various Bible Studies to meet the personal needs of those who want to strengthen their faith. There are Ladies and Men’s Groups. We offer English Sunday School every Sunday in both Services. For children between 1-4 years we also offer German Sunday School every Sunday. On every third Sunday in month we offer German Sunday school for older kids. The Alpha Course has been offered three times with a spiritual week end retreat. There is a prayer group for guidance and support. You should check us out sometime!

About Westcoast German News

German Media on the West Coast of Canada and the US. We offer public relations, event promotion and publicity services for the German Community in Western Canada. We also have a directory and a store with a few small products for sale like T-Shirts with German sayings on them.

About the Two Events:

  1. GCBA Christmas Gala on December 7th –
  2. German Soccer Fans:
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