Amy’s first lantern walk – Introducing a German tradition

lantern walk Laternenumzug

Autumn is the perfect season for lantern walks or Laternenumzuege, which is what they are called in German. It gets dark early, but it’s not too cold to spend the evening outside, so when we arrived in Germany, I knew that this was a German tradition that I really wanted to introduce to Amy. I have such vivid memories of my lantern walks as a child and it’s something that I really wanted Amy to experience too.

lantern walk laternenumzug martinszug laterne gehen

So the next day, we got Amy one of the traditional moon shaped paper lanterns that you can get everywhere during the autumn months and told her a little bit about going on a lantern walk. As you can see she was really excited about having some outside fun after dinner.

latern walk laternenumzug martinszug

Instead of lighting a candle inside the lantern, we opted for a toddler-safe battery-powered light that provided Amy with just as much fun and us with some piece of mind seeing that Amy dragged her lantern across the grass and everything. Had we gone for a candle, the lantern would have been on fire before we even left my parents’ road.

lantern walk laternenumzug martinszug

After a good 45 minute walk plus some fun time on the playground (apparently there’s nothing like going down the slide when it’s pitch black), Amy had enough of carrying her lantern. She let it drop more and more and we decided to go home singing Laterne, Laterne, the traditional German song for lantern walks. You find the lyrics under the picture below.

laternenumzug martinszug lantern walk

Ich geh’ mit meiner Laterne
und meine Laterne mit mir.
Da oben leuchten die Sterne,
hier unten da leuchten wir.
Mein Licht ist aus,
ich geh nach Haus.
Rabimmel, rabammel, rabumm.
Mein Licht ist aus,
ich geh nach Haus.
Rabimmel, rabammel, rabumm.

Laterne, Laterne
Laterne, Laterne, Sonne,
Mond und Sterne.
Brenne auf, mein Licht,
brenne auf, mein Licht,
aber nur meine liebe Laterne nicht.

Have you ever been for a lantern walk and did you sing the German song or maybe an English version? What’s your favourite lantern? The traditional moon or maybe something more unique or crafted?

Β Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


  1. says

    I am embarrassed to say I have not heard of a lantern walk before, or been on one. Its a really lovely tradition though. I’ve been to Germany quite a times, but can’t remember singing any traditional songs. I’ve had fun trying to remember what the words mean when translating this one though.
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    • Carolin says

      There definitely is, it always had something forbidden about it without actually being forbidden – does that make sense?

    • Carolin says

      Yes, they’re so much fun with a group of friends. There was a big one in my hometown, but we were a little late for it, so just did our own lantern walk :)

  2. says

    I am so sorry I have never heard of a lantern walk before either – but it sounds like the type of thing we would love to do as a family – we love going on over Fireworks night, getting all wrapped up warm with hats and scarfs and watching the sky glow, so maybe we will try to incorporate a lantern walk into that time this year!

    Your daughter looks so excited with the lovely new family tradition :)
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    • Carolin says

      Amy absolutely loved it and she’s got three different lanterns already, so I’ll see a lot of walks coming towards us πŸ˜‰

    • Carolin says

      See glow sticks would be another safe option. I need them for Amy, she’s not as innocent as she looks LOL πŸ˜‰

    • Carolin says

      I’m fairly sure that you can order them online. They’re really inexpensive. I think you can pick them up for less than Β£1 x

  3. says

    Wow what a wonderful tradition. I’ve heard about these lantern walks but never been to one. How amazing to get Amy involved too. I love her lantern – good call on the battery controlled light most definitely! My toddler would love something like this. Thank you so much for sharing, fabulous post #whatsthestory
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    • Carolin says

      Thanks so much for hosting. It’s a wonderful linky and I loved reading everyone’s small and big stories and of course, sharing ours x

    • Carolin says

      It was lovely to see her enjoy it as much and so many of my childhood memories came up when we walked through the night.

  4. says

    What a lovely tradition, I can how excited Amy was – it must have been great fun for her. How wonderful to relive some wonderful childhood memories with your own child. Thanks for linking up and sharing with Country Kids.

  5. says

    I love that song. Probably the only German one I know off by heart as I lived in Northern Germany until I was 4. I had a moon lantern, and my sister had a duck one. I loved them both! πŸ˜€ We will be doing our St. Martins Day walk in Munich this year, looking forward to sharing the tradition with my two again…
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  6. says

    We love lantern walks and always sing these songs, although Ava loves singing “Rabimmel, Rabammel, Rabumm” best. We tend to do it later on towards St Martins Day but t is such a lovely tradition!

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