Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Martinmas!!

Martinmas breakfast

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!



matty said...

What a sweet story! I haven't heard it before. Telling that Veteran's day coincides, don't you think??

hands follow heart said...

Beautiful celebration, and beautiful lanterns! We will do our family lantern walk tomorrow evening. So looking forwad to it.

a little crafty nest said...

I never turn on my computer during the day, not until the children are tucked into bed. While they sleep now, I read your post and am excited for our homeschool group's lantern walk this evening. Such a beautiful story and my five year old's eyes are alight when I retell it! Such joy and warmth. Happy Martinmans to you!
xo Jules

Nicole said...

ich geh' mit meiner laterne
und meine laterne mit mir.
dort oben leuchten die sterne
hier unten leuchten wir.
mein licht geht aus
ich geh' nach haus'.
ra-bimmel-ra-bammel-ra bum!!!

this is the german version we will sing this coming saturday!! i always look forward to this time of year, there is something special about kids and their laterns and sweet voices singing :)

Anonymous said...

I love the little lanterns lighting the way...

Melanie~Our Ash Grove said...

It looks like you've had a wonderful day on Martinmas! I love the warmth you share here. :)

Cristina said...

I love all the different lanterns you've made, especially C's with felted simple and sweet!
Our lantern walk is tonight and I'm already thinking of it wistfully as this will be her last one in the kindergarten.

karen said...

gorgeous lanterns, it looks like lots of fun. K's cape is adorable:)

Bending Birches said...

love the nature table vignette....thoughtful and beautiful!

Nicole Spring (Frontier Dreams) said...

Thank you everyone. I hope you all had a wonderful celebration!

P.S. Seeing that song in German is so sweet!

The girl who painted trees said...

I'd love to know where you got your Martin and beggar figure. I'd love to have some beautiful figures like that for my children to play with and retell the story.


Nicole Spring (Frontier Dreams) said...

They are made by Ostheimer. I think the wooden wagon carries them. I got them last year from a friend :). K asks me to tell her the story of St. Martin with them quite often. HTH!

PatsyAnne said...

Please, please, please - I need to know where to get the "begger" in the pale blue cloak that you have in one of your pictures... Salt & Chocolate has one also cloaked in yellow, I believe... Also you have a knight and a kneeling figure - both in wood also - I would love to purchase similar items for my granddaughter...
I LOVE your blog, came across it recently and it is now in my "must reads" daily...

Jane and Lou said...

Hi Nicole, so nice to 'meet' you. I have come across so many lovely, caring, clever, creative mummies since I've been in the 'blogosphere' - it's a wonderful way to connect so many different people isn't it? Well your blog is such a visual and thought provoking treat. I have spent a full day devouring it, along with many of the links, and have just pulled some old Steiner books off the shelf to incorporate some ideas into my very conservative country pre-school where I currently work. I have followed for you & listed you on my blog roll, so I won't miss anything! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas with your family, wishing you all the best, Jane:) Do hop on over & visit me @

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