Thursday, November 11, 2010

Martinmas and paper lanterns

Today we celebrated Martinmas, a celebration of inner light, of our humanity and of harnessing the suns warmth within us to guide us through these coming cold months. We talked about the story of  
Martin and the poor man,and we made paper lanterns while I told the children this sweet lantern story, appropriate especially for Keenan; 
There was once a boy called George who had been outside in the garden all through the Summer running after the butterflies, jumping like a grasshopper, singing like a bird, and trying to catch the sunlight. One day when he was lying on his back in the meadow gazing up into the sun-filled sky, he said, “Dear Brother Sun, soon the Autumn winds will blow and wail, and Jack Frost will come and make us all freeze, and the nights will be long and cold.”  Brother Sun pushed the clouds aside and said, “Yes, it will be dark and cold. In the deep midwinter, warmth and light live deep within, hidden from sight. In the time of dark and cold, you will tend the Light Within.” “But,” said George, “How will I tend this Light when it’s dark everywhere around me?”“I will give you a spark of my last Autumn rays once you have made a little house for it, for this spark must be guarded well. It will light the way for you to tend the Light Within throughout the time of dark and cold.” And then Brother Sun once hid again behind a cloud. George went home and wondered how best he could make a little house for the spark of the sun. He took a thick piece of paper and painted a beautiful blue and yellow watercolor upon it. When it was dry, he cut windows into his painting. Then he placed colored tissue paper on the back of his watercolor – and – he formed it into a lantern. He took a candle and put it into the middle of his lantern. And, as it was growing dark, he went outside with it. George held the lantern up above him and said, “Brother Sun, I have made a little home for one of your golden sparks. Please may I have one? I will guard it well.” Then Brother Sun looked out from behind a cloud and said, “You have made a beautiful home. I shall give you one of my golden sparks.” And suddenly, George saw how the windows of his lantern were lit up, and as he looked into the lantern, he saw a spark happily dancing on top of the candle. Oh, how happy the light was in his lovely lantern! It shone and shone so brightly. “Thank you, Brother Sun,” George called out, “Thank you.” And he took his lantern and carried it carefully home.
( I found that sweet story over at Our little nature nest, where there is also other wonderful recourses for the Martinmas celebration, as well as wonderful homeschooling inspiration. )
We have made these lanterns for years now, this is how we did it.
First the children used water color to paint their paper, we used blue and yellow because of the lantern story.
Once dried we cut a thin strip from the shorter side of the paper to use as a handle, and depending on how tall the children wanted their lantern, cut a piece off the long side of the paper. Then the children drew a few "windows" and cut them out, and along the length of the bottom cut about one inch in with about one inch between each cut, see below if that did not make sense. 
then we glued silk paper over the little windows we had cut out, and using a hot glue gun, glued the sides together creating a cylinder. For the bottom, and this I have no pictures off:( we cut a circle that could fit inside the bottom opening, and with hot glue fastened the little cut up flaps one by one to the circle, thus creating a bottom for the candle
 Then we glued the handle onto the top, and the lantern is ready for use

 As the light of the day faded, I told the story of Martin oce again as we lighted the lanterns, and the children walked around the garden shining their little lights.
 so lovely...
~may your inner light shine and bring you warmth through the coming cold dark days~

Ahh yes and the winner of my little giveaway, found using a homemade random selection ( a number on a piece of paper for each comment, into the hat ) And out I pulled number 4, and the fourth comment is
K from kstreetjournal please email me with an address :)
Thanks to all who entered!


  1. Your lanterns look beautiful! Thank you for sharing your celebration!

  2. Thanks for visiting my blog! I am glad to find you too! I will follow your adventures! Your lanterns are gorgeous!

  3. gorgeous lantens and photos of your walk!

  4. Kalina is more and more beautiful every day. Pretty lanterns, haven't done ours yet. I'm always late with everything.

  5. Your lanterns are really beautiful!

  6. The watercolor paper stands up well, and the wash of blues and greens are a perfect frame for the glowing warmer colors of the silk paper. I think my favorite picture is the one at eventide - before the real dark - because I can see all of those colors at one time. I love the warmth of flame, and the face of lanterns, lovingly made. And I WON!! HURRAY!! I hope you got my email.


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