Today, we actually put some effort into celebrating a Waldorf Holiday. It’s not so much that the Waldorf school of philosophy invented the holiday. Instead, the holiday appears to be a traditional French holiday that picked up traction in Germany in other parts of Europe. The holiday itself is a celebration of the life of St. Martin. Martin was apparently a Roman soldier who’s spiritual aspirations leading him to a monastic life. The stories surrounding him speak of a pious man who once jeopardized his own life by giving a snowbound beggar part of his protective winter cloak. This story concludes by claiming that the beggar was actually Jesus or some other heavenly figure who was putting Martin’s piety to the test.

We celebrated Martin for the spiritual aspects related to this time of year. It’s focus on pacifism, light, remembrance and charity are in keeping with our Unitarian values. We celebrated the day by singing a St. Martin’s Day song, telling a St. Martin’s Day story and enacting a puppet show. We then discussed the risk that Martin willingly took on by giving away his winter clothing. What we did not do was create lanterns. Promenading about with lanterns is a big part of the Waldor St. Martin celebration. We were unable to fit that in and had just made votives for All Souls’, so we passed this year. Maybe next!

Wooden St. Martin Figure

Wooden St. Martin Figure

St. Martin Paper Bag Puppets

St. Martin Paper Bag Puppets

St. Martin Paper Bag Puppet

St. Martin Paper Bag Puppet

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