A Beautiful Evening for Our Lantern Walks

Just as fell on Tuesday, November 10, the Kindergarten, grade 1 and 2 classes as well as the Child’s Garden class began their Lantern Walks. The classes and parents gathered around  a bonfire to sing their special lantern songs and enjoy a cup of warm cider. Slowly the lanterns were lit and each class walked through the fields and woods while softly singing our lantern songs.

The history of Martinmas/Lantern Walk comes from the French legend of Saint Martin of Tours. Martin was a Roman solider in the 4th Century and legend says that one wintry night he met a poor beggar, half naked and freezing. He removed his cloak, cut it in two, and gave half to the beggar. Martin represents a devotion to humankind, a caring of the other, and the ability to bring warmth and light. According to old European customs, as the days become shorter and the stars appear earlier, children would walk with lanterns through the streets singing. Many countries today still celebrate with a lantern walk, candy, and songs.
Our lantern walk is a simple, short, beautiful experience for the children. We work with the idea of creating an inner and outer light to help guide us through the upcoming cold, dark time of the year. We create lanterns in our classrooms. We sing our lantern songs in our circle. And we help the gnomes carry their sacks of treasures deep down into the earth for the long, cold winter!