Festival of Martinmas

lantern litx

The festival of Martinmas, or feast of Saint Martin is Nov. 11. To honor the patron saint of beggars, we create lanterns that shine brightly and lead us through the now darkening days of fall.


Sample song: “I Go With My Bright Little Lantern” mp3

“I go with my bright little lantern
My lantern is going with me
Above the stars are shining
On earth shines my lantern for me
The light shines bright all through the night
La bimma La bimma La bim

My light goes dim as I go in
La bimma La bimma La bim”

My festival-
We worked on our lanterns the week before, a little each day until they were ready.
The eve of Nov. 11, I cleared a path through the wooded part of our yard (so little feet would’t trip on pinecones and roots). We would light our lanterns and I would tell a story (see below) and sing “I go with my bright little lantern” as we let the light guide us around the yard. One year we had a bonfire and a special meal of goose.


martinmas lanterns

Tell a Saint Martin story. Here is one by Reg Down (author of TipToes Lightly)
or you can create your own based on the St. Martin, patron saint of beggars.

=>Saint Martin’s Light




There are so many types of lanterns to make! Keep in mind the age of your child
when choosing and be safe with any candles inside. I used small tea light but you can also use the electric ones.

We’ve done some from cardstock, paper and mason jars.
There are tutorials all over pinterest.

martinmas 2014

<–My girls with mason jars. The bottom has sand and a tea light. We used wire to wrap around the mouth of the jar as a handle. You can add tissue paper in designs on the jars for pretty effects when lit.