Saint Martin

Saint Martin in Malmedy | 2023

An old tradition

On the evening of November 10, on the eve of the St. Martin celebration, three of the large town quarters organize, independently, a bonfire in honor of this highly esteemed Saint. St. Martin was an officer in the Roman Legion; therefore he is usually depicted fully kitted out with his helmet, his crimson cloak and his lance.

The sequence of events for the celebration is similar in all three quarters. On November 10 at about 6 p.m., three processions start to form up. The children proudly carry a lantern that they have made at school, or alternatively they carry a lit torch and wait for the musicians to give the signal, at which a long line of lights starts moving forward to where the bonfire has been erected. As they go along they sing a song: “Lès èveûyes du Sint Mârtin” (“The ‘èveûyes’ of St. Martin). When they arrive at the spot where the bonfire is, it is set alight while the musicians strike up and dance around the glowing embers.

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