Monday, November 12, 2012
So today was Laternefest. I have been pretty excited about it for a while. Little 3-5 year olds running around a night with their little self-made lanterns? Singing songs about light? With their sweet little matching mittens and hats? I was prepared to die of cuteness.
Here's what I forgot: Laternefest is part of Martinstag, which is a religious holiday. And religion...here is what I have to say about religion: Religion does some amazing things, also some horrible things. But what I think most people forget when they talk about religion, is that, most of the time, religion does really really really boring things. Seriously, if religion were only amazing or only terrible the churches would be packed. But they are not, because most religious services make people do this.
So Laternefest started in the Catholic church and I didn't even have to understand a word of German to know it was boring. Everyone was bored. If I am going to be bored it is at least going to be in a meeting where I believe the doctrine being taught.
After that we went out into the streets with the little lanterns, but Sophie was kind of freaked out to walk in the middle of the street because we have brainwashed her to think that means death, and Jojo's little electric tea-light kept going out, and Gracie started howling so...it wasn't all I imagined in my dreams. At least the lanterns were pretty charming.
By the way, earlier this week I found myself thinking,"Why don't we have awesome holiday traditions in the USA like they do here?" Then I reviewed the holidays and realized our holidays are SUPER AWESOME. We carve squash into scary faces to remind us of death. We paint eggs to remind us of Christ. We explode gunpowder into pretty designs to remind us of freedom. Our holidays are SWEET! I have never really gone all out for holidays, but now I think I will. That's what I really really like about living in different countries: it makes you reevaluate your normal.
Happy Laternefest. Maybe we will not celebrate it next year (unless Sophie has a speaking role, which she might. Ughhhh).