As the leaves change and fall from the trees and as the chill returns to the air, we become aware of the changing light. The harvest season has come to an end, and we celebrate the opportunity to take the light given to us in the summer months and share it with the outside world. We celebrate Martinmas.
Martinmas occurs each year on November 11th and is celebrated by honouring St. Martin and the gentle warmth and love he brought to the world. Legend tells us that St. Martin was a gentle and unassuming man who upon discovering a poor beggar, took his own coat, tore it in half, and covered the shivering beggar from the cold. Martinmas calls us to shine our inner light to others as the darkness of the season grows stronger.
Martinmas is celebrated with a community Lantern Walk event during which we are reminded of our shared humanity and our need for each other to keep our light glowing and to count on each other to light our way. Leading up to the Lantern Walk, each person works to create a handmade lantern, which will symbolically protect their light within and fill the dark night with the soft glow of illumination. The Lantern Walk is a reverent time to walk slowly, deliberately, quietly, carefully keeping light and song alive through the dark night for each other. The group of lanterns is beautiful to behold in the dark and we remember that we are not alone. May we move forward in the season ahead, spreading our gifts, our light, our community – and illuminating the beauty of our shared goodness.
Celebrating Martinmas at Home
If you are not able to take part with an in person celebration, we encourage all families to carry on the tradition at home – to create homemade lanterns and take a Lantern Walk in your own neighbourhood as a family, further spreading the light that we all need to hold in the season ahead. Below we share some of the traditional Lantern Walk songs, so that you can fill the night with music and light. Shine bright!
I Go Outside With My Lantern I go outside with my lantern, my lantern goes with me Above me shine the stars so bright, down here on Earth shine we. So shine your light in the still dark night, la bimmel, la bammel, la boom, boom boom. ‘Neath heaven’s dome till we go home, labimmel, la bammel, la boom, boom boom.
My Lantern My Lantern, my lantern Sun and moon and stars. Put out all your lights! Put out all your lights! So my lantern can really shine bright!
Glimmer Lantern, Glimmer Glimmer lantern glimmer, little stars a-shimmer. Over meadow, moor and dale flitter flutter elfin veil. Pee-wit pee-wit, tick-a-tack-a-tick, coo-coo-roo-coo. Glimmer lantern glimmer, little stars a-shimmer. Over rock and stock and stone wander tripping little gnome. Pee-wit, pee-wit, tick-a-tack-a-tick, coo-coo-roo-coo.
**Thanks to Denver Waldorf School for the information we are able to share on this page.