A traditional lantern festival, also known as Martinmas, is celebrated in many Waldorf schools worldwide in mid November. Martinmas honors the story of St. Martin, who, as the story is told, gave half of his cloak to a poor beggar man suffering in the cold of winter. The seasonal holiday marks the end of the autumn harvest season and the anticipation of the cold winter. Carrying our own little lanterns of light into the darkness during the festival reminds us all, as the days grow shorter and the nights grow longer, to keep our own little lights shining within us and to share our light and warmth with those around us.
L to R: Lanterns made by students in our Lilac Class, Rose Class, and 2nd Grade.
In past years the Waldorf School of Princeton has held a beautiful, reverent festival. Families in early childhood through grades one and two walk the campus at dusk, lanterns in hand and then return to a glowing fire, warm baked potatoes and apple cider. Traditional songs are sung before and along the way. Though this year the festival was held a little differently, with each class holding its own smaller celebration, a spirit of joy and reverence accompanied us all.
Our 2nd Grade singing a Lantern Walk song.