Wednesday, November 12

Martinmas: Let your Light Shine

Today is Martinmas.  For awhile during the Roman Empire Martinmas was the beginning of Advent (which left 40 days of fasting till Christmas without Saturdays and Sundays).  It is a day to remember that we carry our light into a darkened world.  And while we don't begin our advent till four weeks before Christmas, there is always a shift for me at Martinmas.  Winter is coming and with it we prepare to celebrate light in darkness through the holidays.

Our homemade lanterns were a bit of a failure (we attempted balloon lanterns like this).  I didn't get the tissue till Sunday and we didn't get started till today so they didn't have enough time to dry.  I tried breaking the balloons and they totally crumpled.  So, out came the battery lanterns Great-Grammie sent for the older boys when Athan was born.

I must say the path we walked in Scotland, which was dark, was much more appealing for a lantern walk.  The boys were rather disappointed that street lights made our lanterns pretty unnecessary.  Next year we'll have to go to a park or green space.

But despite all that could have been better, we had a good walk around our block with our lanterns singing This Little Light of Mine and You Are The Light Of The World (Matthew 5:14 & 16).  (Every year I intend to learn some of the lovely Waldorf kindergarten songs to add to the mix, but never seem to manage.)   It was a balmy night and we all loved sharing some yummy ginger cookies shaped like stars, moons, Christmas lights and men when we got back to the house.  It was really meaningful to talk to the boys about St. Martin and what it means to be a light in the darkness this year.  I love watching their understanding of traditions grow each year.


emily said...

How do you talk to them about St Martin? I wanted to do it this year but didn't have my act together and always feel a little funny celebrating festivals etc that haven't been part of my cultural background, so I'm never wholehearted enough. Maybe we'll do a little something tomorrow though - I do love the idea of Martinmas (and would love to teach you the Waldorf song we learned for it last year - it's simple and lovely).

Watkins said...

I used figures a couple years ago - you can see them at this link
This year I told them the story in my own words through the day - nothing formal. His story is in some books of the saints you might find at the library - I read it the very first year we celebrated from a collection (I don't know which).