Last week, I hosted a lantern walk for Martinmas for my Indy Waldorf group. Unlike Michaelmas or May Day, Martinmas is a more somber celebration. We made our lanterns using the papier mache method.
We used tissue paper and a flour and hot water mixture. The tissue paper clumped a lot so after the kids placed their layer of tissue paper, I would follow up with an additional layer to make sure everything was covered and smooth. It took us three days and there were 3-5 layers of tissue on each lantern. Zack did the traditional lantern type. When we placed the LED candles in it, it wasn’t bright enough so we also cut some stars on the side.
For my lantern, I had one layer of tissue then I dipped some yarn into the mix, covered parts of the lantern, and then placed another layer of tissue over it. Sean covered his lantern with a layer of light pink tissue then he used orange paint and painted parts of it then he covered it in a couple of layers of yellow tissue and painted it. I was pleasantly surprised to see how it turned out. The inside looked like there were orange petals embedded in the tissue layers.
On the day of the lantern walk, the children gathered and our resident storyteller, Tracey, told them the story of how St. Martin, when he was still a Roman soldier, saw a beggar whose pleas were being ignored on a freezing night and he used his sword to cut his magnificent cloak in half to share with the beggar. That night, he had a dream that Jesus sat on the throne wearing half of his cloak. In memory of his generosity, we also had a coat collection that day. The second story was about how St. Martin was lost in bad weather and was trying to find the house of a person that needed help. He saw a light and it led the way for him to reach his destination. Both stories are about finding the light in everyone and that all of us have a light to share with the world hence the lantern walk.
My house is located within an oval street with only one entrance. It is a half mile walk to complete and we carried our lanterns and sang the “Glimmer, Lantern, Glimmer” and the “I Walk with My Lantern” songs. When we got back, we broke bread with everyone and drank hot cider.