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November 11th: A Day of Reflection and Celebration

November 11th in Germany marks the onset of many traditions, seamlessly blending historical significance with cultural celebrations. From commemorating the end of World War I, honoring Saint Martin to launching the exuberant “fifth season” of Karneval, this day encapsulates the essence of Germany’s diverse heritage.

Reflecting on Remembrance Day

November 11th holds historical significance in Germany as Armistice Day and in Canada as Remembrance Day.

This day commemorates the end of World War I and serves as a moment of reflection on the sacrifices made for peace. Germans observe a moment of silence, and ceremonies are held to honor those who gave their lives in the pursuit of freedom.

On 11/11 at 11 am we came together for a heartfelt tribute for Remembrance Day at the Surrey German Language School! 

The voices of students, teachers and family members united in singing the anthem, followed by a solemn minute of silence, honouring those who sacrificed for our freedom. 

Celebrating St. Martin

On the evening of November 11th, communities across Germany come together for the iconic St. Martin Lantern Parade, a symbolic journey that illuminates the darkness. Children and families, carrying handcrafted lanterns, parade through the streets, creating a sea of lights reminiscent of St. Martin’s own act of sharing his cloak with a beggar. 

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In order to prepare for the lantern parade in the evening, our students were busy creating beautiful paper lanterns. 

Later that evening, everyone was ready for a mesmerizing St. Martin lantern procession led by our singing students, lighting up the night with their lanterns.
We were also thrilled to be invited to the Surrey Firefighters, adding an extra spark to our parade Over 100 people from our school attended the illuminating event.

Start of the "Fifth Season": Karneval Kickoff

In many regions, particularly in the western part of Germany, November 11th marks the official kickoff of Karneval, also known as the “fifth season.”

This pre-Lent carnival season is characterized by colorful parades, elaborate costumes, and exuberant street celebrations. The date, 11/11, at 11:11 a.m., holds special significance as it signals the start of the festivities.

Though we didn’t acknowledge the Karneval Kickoff this year, we will make sure to join the celebrations in February with colorful costumes, a joyful parade and hopefully again with the delicious jam-filled “Berliner Krapfen”. 

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