Monday, November 12, 2012

Martinmas

As the dark falls upon us we must let our inner light shine


We have been preparing all week to celebrate our first Martinmas as a family. Our homeschooling journey so far as been flavoured with quite a bit of Waldorf inspiration and with Reece getting a bit older we decided to start to celebrate some of the wonderful Waldorf festivals.

If you are not familiar with Martinmas, it is the story of St. Martin. St. Martin was a soldier in Rome in the 4th century. Legend says that one wintery night he met a poor beggar, half-naked and freezing. Martin removed the heavy military cloak from his shoulders and, drawing his sword, cut it in two, and gave half to the beggar. That night, Christ appeared to Martin in a dream, wrapped in the same piece of cloak Martin had given the beggar, and said: “Martin has covered me with this garment.” Martin became the patron saint of beggars, drunks and outcasts, dedicating his life to assisting the unfortunate and downcast. Martinmas celebrates his kindness, compassion and selflessness. Lanterns are a traditional part of the celebration as a reminder of the light that shines in each and every one of us, and that we must share and spread this light.

As we began our lantern preparations earlier in the week we chatted with Reece about sharing and giving. We talked about how some people don't have a home, food to eat or clothes to wear. It is not an easy thing for my little man to understand, but that is okay, we will continue to talk about this things, especially now during the holiday season.

We all sat down together on Wednesday to do some watercolour paintings, which would later become our lanterns. I found a wonderful tutorial here. It was the first time the three of us have shared craft time together and it was very special. On Friday we put the lanterns together and let them grace our table.

On Sunday morning we planned a few things. First, it was off to the Remembrance Day Ceremony.  This is always such a touching, gratitude filled ceremony and this year was no different. After the ceremony we took Reece to the grocery store and we went shopping for food to share with our community. We collected soup, pasta, tomato sauce, beans, rice, crackers and some baby food. We packaged it up at the cashier and together we went and placed it in the collection box. Again, I am not sure how much Reece understands, but if we begin now it will be something he gains an awareness about as time passes.

Then it was home for an afternoon of family time. Reece was pretty excited to light our lanterns, and to be honest, we all were. They looked amazing! We enjoyed a lovely dinner by the light of the lanterns and shared conversation, laughter and love around our table.

Martinmas was the perfect first Waldorf festival for us to celebrate and we are looking forward to the many wonderful festivals coming up in the next few months.

26 comments:

  1. Beautiful post, as always. Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Replies
    1. Thanks, we had a great time making them. We already have a list of ideas for next year's lanterns :)

      Delete
  3. Wonderful! :) Thanks for sharing this.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Just wonderful Kim! We did a similar thing as well!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks KC, and I saw that. Your celebration looked lovely.

      Delete
  5. love your lanterns. and it's fun, isn't it? the getting older bit is bittersweet but then all the fun things to introduce and do...so good!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Amanda. And yes, it is fun and you are right about the getting older, hard to see them grow, but so many fun things to do now that he is a little older.

      Delete
  6. Those lanterns are precious!! What a special weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Isn't Martinmas just fabulous?! We celebrated our first Martinmas last autumn and it became an instant family favorite too! We truly love everything about that festival! I was so sad that we were not able to celebrate it with other members of the Waldorf community this year but it was also very special to have it just be our family too. Oh, how I wish that we lived closer together!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is fabulous! We all enjoyed it and the story behind the festival makes it so very special. I second your wish Shel, living closer together would be so wonderful.

      Delete
  8. Lovely Kim. Martinmas is my favorite Waldorf celebration. One so easily developed as the years go on and such a beautiful message of giving and sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jennifer. I am looking forward to seeing how our Martinmas traditions grow and change over the years.

      Delete
  9. I really like your water color lanterns. Thanks for the link!

    ReplyDelete
  10. What a beautiful post!!! I will read it to my boys. Love your lanterns and display. xxoo

    ReplyDelete
  11. What a beautiful celebration. It didn't happen here this year, but we'll do it again next year!

    ReplyDelete