It’s Festival Season!

martinmas lanternsFestival Season Is Upon Us!

With Martinmas just under 2 weeks away, I thought I would do a “Festival Season” post.  It feels like there are constant celebrations from now until Three Kings Day (January 6).

We actually started our festival season with Michaelmas, (on Sept. 29) with the coming in of spirit, the earth slowly shedding leaves and readying for its winter slumber.  It’s a time for new projects, getting things finished and being brave.

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.

This is how we do our festival:

We make our lanterns the week before Martinmas, a little each day until they are ready.
The eve of Nov. 11, I clear a path through the wooded part of our yard (so little feet would’t trip on pinecones and roots).  We light our lanterns, I tell a story (see link 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.

Here is one Saint Martin story by Reg Down (author of TipToes Lightly).  You can always create your own based on the patron saint of beggars.  =>Saint Martin’s Light

Here’s a sample song: “I Go With My Bright Little Lantern” mp3

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”


martinmas 2014As for Your Lantern….

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 lights but you can also use the battery operated ones.  We’ve done some from cardstock, paper and mason jars.  There are tutorials all over pinterest.

<–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 to create pretty effects when lit.


Don’t Forget Your Planning…

I highly recommend creating a festival notebook or folder to start housing all your ideas, verses, songs and recipes for each festival.  (Once you gather them, you are ready for next year- no need to search again!) We use the same stories and format that we have used for years. Easy and simple.

What I love about festivals is that they give us pause to celebrate life,
what is happening in the seasons, and connection to rituals dating back

I also feel that it extends our normal holidays into an entire season where we have mini
celebrations.  It is gentler and less hectic than one big day.

Want more guidance with festivals?

I have gathered my best festival recordings and guides into one BIG bundle:  the Festival Bundle

This Bundle includes these audio recordings:

  • Festivals & Celebrations
  • Festivals with Children
  • Festivals through the Year
  • Winter Festivals

You Will Learn:

  • Why is it important to bring festivals to children
  • Creating a festival mood
  • How many festivals to celebrate & more

PLUS: get the Winter Festivals GuideBook

“Winter Festivals” includes a 65 minute audio and guidebook filled with crafts, songs & ideas for:

  • Advent/Saint Nicholas/Las Posadas/Saint Lucia/Hanukkah/Christmas/Candlemas
  • Elements of a good Festival
  • The inner experience of the festival
  • Stories, verses and poems
  • History & lore behind the festivals
  • Crafts & projects