Thursday, November 11, 2010
Happy Martinmas everyone! We already had our school lantern walk but still plan on having our family lantern walk tonight. While I planned on posting some lantern tutorials before today, my computer had other plans so they will be coming next week instead. I apologize for that.
Anyways, on to the celebration!
Martinmas celebrates the selfless giving impulse exemplified by St. Martin of Tours, a soldier in the Roman army.
One day in November he rose early in the morning and rode from his simple room into the city of Amiens, Gaul. Frigid rain pelted against his face and it was so dark a lantern barely lit his path. Suddenly, his horse stopped at the city gates. A poorly-clad beggar stood beside the path with his hands stretched out asking for help. But St. Martin had nothing to give the beggar. In spite of his high position in the army, he lived in poverty, only serving the poor, the sick and those in need of consolation. But St. Martin's compassionate heart was inventive. Swinging his warm red soldiers' cloak off his back, he cut it in half and gave one half to the beggar.
That night he had a dream in which Christ appeared dressed in the half cloak and said, "Today you have shared your cloak with me, from now on you are to be called St. Martin."
After leaving the Roman army, St. Martin became a monk and founded several monasteries that served the sick and poor.
In honor of St. Martin people everywhere gather at night and carry candle filled lanterns on a walk, singing lantern songs and sharing light and warmth of the community. The festival calls on us to remember the light within our lives that we can share to light the way for others. Another great way to celebrate is to donate warm clothing to your local homeless shelter.
Here are a few pics from our school lantern walk. It was such a beautiful experience. I was too busy taking it all in to get a lot of pictures but here you go!
Our school Martinmas info
K in her cloak (the made them in class) with her lantern (also made in class)
C with her lantern we made in parent/child class
Lanterns lighting our path
I loved the turnip lantern (middle). K's teachers made it and had it at their table when we walked into class.
C's little lantern (simple and sweet with wool we felted over the jar)
Both girls' lanterns
Our nature table (with St. Martin and the beggar in the background)
C's lantern in daylight
More of our older lanterns from years past (this star lantern was made by my friend danita at Green Bamboon Designs
I go outside with my lantern,
my lantern goes outside with me.
Above the stars shine so brightly,
down here on the earth shine we.
So shine my light,
in the still dark night,
a bim a la ba ma la boom!
Wishing you all warmth and light on this special day!