Tuesday, November 24, 2009

November Post

It has been a tradition of my family to celebrate St. Martin's Day every year on November 11. The festivities include making lanterns out of black cardboard and coloured transparent paper, eating Pöfferkes (the best part!) and Pfeffernüsse, and taking part in lantern processions.

Well . . . In truth, we haven't had a proper lantern procession for years (not since we moved, at any rate). The making of lanterns has also dwindled over time, although we still have a fair number from past years (mostly made by my tootly friend). This year, however, my gnomey friend (the most artistically inclined among us siblings) did make a lantern, thereby inspiring a little lantern-making fad among us.

Personally, I was inspired by the novelty of his design. In the past, our lanterns were not particularly original. They invariably (or nearly so) depicted the most famous scene in the legend of St. Martin (in which St. Martin, then a Roman soldier, cuts his cloak in half and shares it with a beggar shivering in the snow), along with the moon and stars, a winter scene, or something along those lines. But my gnomey friend's lantern was based on a different episode in St. Martin's life: St. Martin, now no longer a soldier, but a man of God, hides in a shed to avoid being made bishop; he is betrayed by geese and becomes the bishop of Tours.

Subject aside, the style of his lantern was much more reminiscent of stained-glass windows than our lanterns had been before. The effect was pleasing and very appropriate.

Here is my own endeavour:

Lantern (with colour)

In this case, the event in question is the miraculous appearance of a globe of fire over St. Martin's head during Mass. The poppies to either side are, of course, a reference to Remembrance Day, which also falls on November 11.

Note: I didn't actually finish the lantern in time (though I finished cutting it out), so the colours were added on the computer. Also, credit goes to my gnomey friend for transferring my design onto the black cardboard (tedious!).


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