Martinsfest

Martinsfest

November 10-11
Martin's Festival in Germany honors both St. Martin of Tours ( see Martinmas and St. Martin's Day in Portugal) and Martin Luther (1483-1546), the German theologian and leader of the Protestant Reformation.
In Düsseldorf, a man dressed as St. Martin rides through the streets followed by hundreds of children. Many carry lanterns made from hollowed-out pumpkins. It is thought that the rites associated with St. Martin's Day may have originated as an early thanksgiving festival in honor of Freya, the ancient German goddess of plenty.
While German Roman Catholics honor St. Martin on this day, Protestants honor Martin Luther, who was born on November 10, 1483, and baptized on the 11th. In Erfurt, where Martin Luther attended the university, there is a procession of children carrying lanterns. This ends in the plaza in front of the cathedral and the Severi Church. With their lanterns the children form the "Luther rose," or the escutcheon of Martin Luther.
CONTACTS:
Tourist Association Duesseldorf
Breite St. 69
Duesseldorf, 40213 Germany
49-211-172-02-0; fax: 49-211-161-07-1
www.duesseldorf-tourismus.de/default_en.php?PHPSES
Tourist Information Erfurt
Weimarische St. 45
Erfurt, D-99084 Germany
49-361-664-00; fax: 49-361-664-02-90
www.erfurt-tourist-info.de
SOURCES:
AnnivHol-2000, p. 188
BkFest-1937, p. 138
BkFestHolWrld-1970, p. 122
DictWrldRel-1989, pp. 440, 606
FestWestEur-1958, p. 77
OxYear-1999, p. 456