Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Martinmas Lanterns

We recently joined a new Meetup group called Waldorf at Home. For those who may be unfamiliar with Waldorf you can read a bit about it here. I'd say my family is more waldorf-inspired than "waldorf"-- there is a distinction between the two. I like it for the focus on rhythm, celebration, creativity, being holistic, and in tune with nature. But it can, and does, go far deeper than that. Our little group meets every Monday. At yesterday's Meetup we made lanterns in honor of Martinmas.

On November 11th, countries around the world will celebrate Martinmas, the holiday honoring St. Martin of Tours, a Roman soldier-turned monk. According to legend, St. Martin came upon a scantily clad beggar one night in the snow, and having nothing to offer, he took his sword and cut his cloak in half to share with the man. That night, St. Martin had a dream in which Christ was wearing half a cloak and said, “Here is Martin, the Roman soldier who is not baptized; he has clad me.” The next day, Martin ran to be baptized and became a Christian.
In European counties today, festivities range from children parading with paper lanterns behind a man dressed as St. Martin to families eating a feast featuring goose, but the heart of the story is selfless generosity.

Some of the kids colored and made paper lanterns while others wrapped wire around mason jars forming a handle then Modge Podged paper cutouts to the outside of it. In addition to lantern making we enjoyed a little bonfire in the fire pit, homemade soup and rolls, my daughter sang a little lantern song for everyone and the rest was just an afternoon of good running and playing with other kids and mother talk. Later that evening, back at home, the girls delighted in trying out their new candle lanterns!