Tonight we met our unschooling friends, Alyssa and Julie at Liberty park for a Lantern Walk celebrating Martinmas. We shared fruit, hot apple cider and pumkin chocolate chip cookies and walked around the lake carrying our lanterns.
One of the main points of celebrating Martinmas is recognizing the light in others and sharing your own light. Walking in the darkness carrying their light gives us the experience of caring and sharing when the darkness of winter approaches.
November 11 marks Martinmas, in honor of a Roman soldier, St Martin of Tours, elevated to sainthood for his selfless kindness. Martin is the patron saint of the poor, beggars, outcasts, and the homeless. He is known for his gentleness, his unassuming nature, and his ability to bring warmth and light to those who were previously in darkness. The most famous story and the one where he is traveling along on a winter evening and meets a beggar. The freezing beggar tugs at the hardened soldier’s heart strings and he rips his cloak in half to share with the beggar. That night an angle/spirit/Jesus etc....appears to St. Martin and commends him for his good deed. On the evening of Martinmas, Martin’s deeds of goodness and acts of kindness are remembered with singing and a Festival of Lanterns. Children together with their families, carry handmade lanterns as they walk into the cold, dark evening. A story recognizing “the light” of another gives the children an experience of caring and sharing as we move toward the darkness of winter.