Sonne, Mond und Sterne.
Brenne auf mein Licht, Brenne auf mein Licht,
aber nur meine liebe Laterne nicht.
My Lantern, my Lantern
Shining for Saint Martin,
Let it shine my light, let it shine so bright
Let it light my way through darkest night.
On November 11, throughout the world people commemmorate the life of Saint Martin in the celebration of Martinmas. Martin was a Roman soldier who, so the legend goes, was one day so touched by the plight of a freezing beggar that he cut his own warm cloak in two to share it. That night he had a dream in which Jesus was the beggar wearing his half a cloak. Inspired to do good, the soldier left the military and became a monk, and later a bishop. The day is commonly celebrated by lantern walks representing the light of Christ, and the sharing of food among the community.
Our little community gathered for an evening of fun and sharing, with delicious homemade soup, pumpkin bread, salads, cookies, hot apple cider and mulled wine. Many of us brought lanterns from home, others made one at the craft station provided. Emma's and several others were made from glass jars covered in coloured tissue paper for a wonderful stained glass window effect. Still more had shapes cut from paper bags or small cardboard boxes through which the light shone. Carefully carrying our lanterns with little handles or hanging from sticks, we processed through the neighbourhood singing Martinmas songs. The procession ended at the playground, where the children enjoyed time together in the dwindling light.