Martinstag

The 11th November is known as Martinstag or Sankt Martin. Originally the start of a 40-day period of fasting before Christmas, it is now more associated with the processions of children holding lanterns that take place after dark. Many families eat goose on this day.

The day also sees the start of the Karneval season.

To hear a simple explanation, a short discussion, and a children’s song in German, listen to the podcast:

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Laterne, Laterne,
Sonne, Mond und Sterne,
brenne auf mein Licht,
brenne auf mein Licht,
aber nur meine liebe Laterne nicht.

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Das Sandmännchen

The Sandmännchen is an animated figure in German childrens’ television. It is shown every day on KiKa (“Kinderkanal”) just before 7pm.

The Sandmann shown today is evolved from an East-German production, as can be seen by some of the buildings and clothing in the series. The puppet arrives in the scene and introduces a short film to the children. After the film he sends the children to bed by releasing sand (“Schlafsand”) and then leaves.

To hear a simple explanation in German, listen to the podcast:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


(Press the “play” button to listen to the podcast)

Download a transcript

Download the MP3 file | Subscribe to the podcast

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