November - St. Martin's Festival
The Story of Saint Martin and Our Lantern Walk
Saint Martin’s story is one of transformation. The festival honoring Martin is traditionally on November 11th, and it is fitting that this is also the day Americans celebrate their Veterans, for Martin was also a soldier. He was a Roman guard who saw the light of Christianity, “Love thy neighbor as thyself,” which in turn changed his perspectives and actions. When he found a beggar by the roadside chilled with cold, Martin tore his own wool cape in two to give half to warm the beggar.
With our lanterns, we celebrate by walking through the darkness singing. Our lanterns represent the divine spark in every human being; we must protect this “spark” form being extinguished. We are protecting our own little flame from winter darkness. This beacon of light is symbolic for many cultures and a caring gesture toward our Earth, as we approach the darkness of winter and have but a small light to guide us. When kept aglow, warmth, hope and love will prevail.
In the spirit of caring for our neighbors, we also like to collect food for those in need at this time of year.
“This little light of mine, I’m gonna to let it shine.
Let it shine let it shine, let it shine. . .”