Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Martinmas & seasonal ramblings

We have a lot of seasonal traditions in our home, I've collected them over the years, a real mixed bag. Every week I seem to be decorating the house for some special day or just for the love of the current month - nature displays on the mantelpiece, books according to the current festival or the season. 

I've always been really driven by the seasons since childhood, excessively so, I don't know where it came from  - not my parents who don't really care for even the big events like Christmas. Maybe it was my primary school and the activities we did? I would spend hours making up poems about leaves falling off trees, snow on the ground and would then illustrate the edges of the paper. So.....now I home educate my son we can experience these things together. For me, it is my childhood all over again and over the past few years I have seen everything I loved creep back in again after a long period of suppressing these 'whims'.

Today is Martinmas, St Martin's Day , the day that St Martin of Tours was buried in 397AD
The legend goes that Martin met a beggar man in Amiens, France, who was cold and shivering. Martin cut his own cloak in two in order to give half to the man and so the day is celebrated for compassion and the hope of getting through the dark winter days.
lantern walk
waldorfmama.com

Martinmas is celebrated more in France or Germany with lantern parades and singing but the Waldorf educational approach which we follow parts of was brought into my life a few years back and it's a magical, creative way of learning that celebrates such days. 

Across the community we make little lanterns, whether that be paper ones or decorated jars. The light in the lantern represents our souls, a tiny light for protection through the dark whilst we sing lantern songs.


I go outside with my lantern, my lantern goes with me
Above the stars are shining bright, down here on Earth shine we.
The cock does crow, the cat meows, la bimmel, la bammel, la boom.
‘Neath heaven’s dome till we go home, la bimmel, la bammel, la boom.

I go outside with my lantern, my lantern goes with me
Above the stars are shining bright, down here on Earth shine we.
So shine your light through the still dark night, la bimmel, la bammel, la boom
‘Neath heaven’s dome till we go home, la bimmel, la bammel, la boom.

Other traditions we do for Martinmas are baking cookies, shadow puppet plays and St Martin bags filled with treats.  In the UK there are various Martinmas fairs but mostly it is just us at home with our pretty lanterns. 
Lantern songs
Waldorf inspired learning
The eve of St Martins is associated with eating roast goose, Martinsgans, with red cabbage and potato dumplings.  The legend is that whilst trying to avoid becoming an ordained priest, Martin hid in a goose shed where the noisy geese caused him to found. 
Mili Weber [Swiss painter and illustrator 1891-1978]
source

Follow Happy Homebird's board Martinmas on Pinterest.

0 comments:

Post a comment

Share your thoughts xx