Tonight was the Martinmas Lantern Walk with Maya’s Waldorf Playgroup. We met in Prospect Park at dusk with our homemade lanterns gathering there until all of our friends arrived. The sun quickly set and with the darkness a magnificent array of lanterns shone bright . We sang songs together and commenced on the walk through long meadow. I was a designated ‘Fairy’ which meant I actually did not walk with a lantern, but went to the rendezvous spot and set up the small feast. Families each brought along a plate of food to share and so while everyone participated in the Lantern Walk, the ‘Fairies’ set up the yummy snacks. The Lantern Walk is a lovely event, so pretty and gentle. The children were so excited to carry their little lights on sticks, and even more excited to devour the goodies at the end.
The significance of the Lantern Walk is based on the story of Martin, who was a Roman soldier. It is said that one cold November night he shared a piece of his warm cloak with a beggar. That night, he dreamed that the beggar’s face was really Christ, and he learned that by helping others, he was really in service to God and the betterment of Man. He quit the army and devoted his life to service, eventually becoming the Bishop of Tours. I love how the message of sharing and giving shines through in this story, and that by doing so, we have light in our lives.
Maya had been looking forward to this event so very much as she was to see her boyfriend who she had not seen since the end of Summer. Maya had a necklace gift for him that she made, which she put in a purse that she also made. These were wrapped with much attention to detail, and then she drew three pictures for him of them getting married. It was delightful to see them reunited, and very sweet watching them share the Lantern Walk together.