1,000 kids + fire + lanterns + reindeer sleigh + dog sled + Sankt Nicholaus + Angels + free hot chocolate in boots mug = TROUBLE!
Well - that about sums up our night!
At the Schloss or castle near our house, we heard there was to be a little Sankt Nickolaus parade. We arrived in time to get our free lantern with a candle. Immediately the Scientist and I looked at each other wondering if it was safe to give a 2 1/2 year old a lantern with real fire. We looked around and decided to be sheep because every other German parent had given their child one. What could happen we thought???? (insert foreboding music here)
We first almost got run into by a reindeer with HUGE antlers. They stopped every couple of minutes and gave the opportunity to change children. We eventually got Baby Bird in there. (He is the one in the back row in the middle with the blue and red striped goofy hat)
Yes that is a real reindeer pulling the sleigh! The reindeer wasn't totally domesticated and kept throwing his head around almost once goring a woman next to stroller who didn't hear him coming!
Do you see the dog sled in the picture? The guys in the green vests were riding on it. Can anyone say chaotisch?
The man of the hour. Was this parade crazy? Does the pope wear a funny hat? He was also carrying quite the entourage. He had a horse and 2 angels following closely behind him. He stopped at the end of the parade to talk with the children but soon left and got in the hot chocolate line.
Afterwards, Baby Bird and our friend's 2 year old decided to battle with their lanterns.
They had the Schloss all lit up. The picture does not do it justice.
This is a typical Weihnachtspyramid. The nativity scene on the top was actually spinning around. Below they sold a very common drink called Glühwein, a type of warm mulled wine that can be VERY alcoholic. Don't let its delightful smell fool you! 2 of these babies can easily give you a hangover. (especially with Schuss!)
Here is the conclusion of the life of a toddler's lantern. See if you can spot the burn marks where it set on fire and the foot prints when we stomped on it.
At least the gave the children free heisse Schokolade (or hot chocolate for those of you who couldn't figure that out) and the parents Glühwein in these cute boot mugs we got to keep!
Ahh...keepsakes that serve as memories...These will always remind me of...burning! (Sorry Fireman Jim!)