The Lantern Walk – The Celebration of St. Martin
In early November, our Lantern Walk affirms symbolically that light can continue to shine even as the light and warmth of the sun are waning. Now light and warmth come more from our homes, and from the fellowship of friends and family. Carrying a light into the darkness in the company of others – as we do during the Lantern Walk – can be reassuring.
American Waldorf schools have adopted the Lantern Walk tradition from its European heritage. The walk is celebrated around the time of Martinmas, November 11.
From France comes the legend of St. Martin, who as a young man passed under an archway in the city of Amiens and found a destitute beggar there. Martin tore his own cape in half, to cover and warm the beggar. After a dream the following night, Martin was convinced he was to devote his life in service of all humankind, and became the patron saint of beggars and outcasts. A gentle and unassuming man, he brought light and warmth to all those whose lives he touched, hence his association with the lantern.