St. Martin's Day fit the bill tonight, and Caroline's school celebrated with a lantern* parade through the streets of our neighborhood. Caroline and her friends led the parade with their teacher; we were cordially acknowledged and then ignored as C turned her attention to the important business at hand: voices to be warmed up, lanterns held high and the parade kept from wobbling too far off its path towards Jiřího z Poděbrad, one of the main squares nearby.
St. Martin's day in central Europe is traditionally the day new wine turns from stormy to clear. To celebrate, vineyards from around the country set up stands in the square to offer up tastes of their young wine.** After the classes gathered to play recorder and sing, parents sorted out children and headed straight to the wine stands to receive our reward - svařené víno, or mulled wine! Fingers warm for the first time since the parade began, we headed home, lanterns still lit and children humming, ready for the weekend.
* Paper lanterns, with candles. The type of lanterns that boys like to play swords with.
** The festival began at 11:11 this morning, in a nice nod to the date, and borrowing a tradition from our German neighbors.
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