Martinmas is a new Festival for us this year. After participating in all of the beautiful festivities, I am sure it will not be our last. For those of you who don’t know, Martinmas is the celebration of St. Martin. I will try to give you my own summary of his story below but keep in mind that I am new to this and might not have all the details.
St. Martin was a good natured and kind man who went into the military to please his family. One night when riding into the city he was based in, he saw a man dressed in rags, freezing in the cold. All of the towns people either ignored this man or sneered at him as they walked by. St. Martin stopped his horse, got down and split his cloak in two so that the man could be wrapped in half and protected from the cold. Many were shocked by this action but St. Martin did not care. That night he was visited in his dreams by a man in the half of the cloak that he gave to the beggar and that man was Jesus. From then on St. Martin left the military and decided to help people full time.
Martinmas is also the half way point between fall and winter, a chance to shine light in a very dark time of year. It is also a chance to think of others in need and take a look deep within yourself to find the things that help you glow in this time of darkness.
In preparation of our Martinmas, we created lanterns. This was quite the project but the end result is beautiful. I finger knitted a rope for each lantern so the children could easily hold them. We brought our lanterns on the 11th to our friends house for our very first lantern walk. We began the night gathered around the fire and ate delicious vegetable soup while a beautiful story was told . We then grabbed our lanterns and gathered in a line to walk the path that we had illuminated with glass jars and candles. We sang the Martinmas songs we had learned as we walked and even did the walk twice. The weather was good to us and it was so beautiful…..a memory that will stay with me always.
“In heaven the stars are shining, on earth shines my lantern with me…..”