Lantern parade lights up the city

MARK NICHOLLS A seasonal German tradition will go ahead in Norwich on Saturday evening, with the annual lantern walk.

MARK NICHOLLS

A seasonal German tradition will go ahead in Norwich on Saturday evening, with the annual lantern walk.

Organised by the bilingual children's group Hansel & Gretel, the parade will wind its way through the city with colourful lanterns as shoppers start to make their way home.

More than 100 people attended last year's lantern walk and the organisers hope more will turn up this year.


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As in previous years, the group will set off from the St Peter Mancroft Church at around 5pm and finish the procession in Chapelfield Gardens. Folk band Mooncoin will accompany the singing of the lantern songs. Among the traditional German songs to be heard during the procession will be "Lantern, lantern, sun, moon and stars".

Marion Broughton, who is one of the organisers, said: "The lantern walk has become a firm favourite not only for adult and child members of that group but also for many non-German people who like to join in the procession which marks the tradition of St Martin."

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St. Martin's Day is one of the most popular saint's days in Germany and is celebrated on November 11 in Austria, Germany, Flanders and parts of the Netherlands. Martin of Tours was born in the 4th century and started out as a Roman soldier, later becoming a monk, and because of his exemplary way of life was later appointed Bishop of Tours.

Marion added: "Many legends surround his life, the most famous of which tells how he cut his cloak in half to share with a beggar who was dying in the cold.

"In many of the continental processions, a man dressed as Saint Martin rides on a horse ahead. The children sing songs about Saint Martin and about their lantern."

For more information about the Hansel & Gretel group or the lantern walk, call Marion Broughton on 01362 699771.

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