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. We celebrate by honoring 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.

Celebrating Martinmas at The Denver Waldorf School

The younger grades and the kindergartens (and recently our high school students too!) celebrate this light within us during their class Lantern Walks. Leading up to the Lantern Walk, they each work 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 community 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. It 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

For those partaking of Martinmas in your own neighborhood, here are 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, la bimmel, 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.