Thursday, 11 November 2010

Glimmer Lantern Glimmer.

I thought I would share with you another post from our now defunct blog I mentioned before. This is something that we won't get to celebrate this year on the day as we have someplace else to be!

Tonight, my man, Jay, is having an exhibition opening in Dublin, so if any of you happen to be around then do join us! You can read about it here. So in the midst of him preparing for this we have had a run of sick kiddies and storm and flood warnings, all mixed in to the general daily tizzy and winter wildness settling in. Great fun!
I do hope to actually do this lantern a walk at the weekend, or the next. I am so mindful of all the things I did with the older two that the younger two might miss out on simply because life is twice as hectic.

So without further ado...

There is a lovely tradition we try to celebrate every year which I first came across through some Steiner/Waldorf friends. It is usually celebrated on Martinmas eve which is the 11th November, although it is a lovely thing to do once the darkness draws in and the evenings shorten, a simple symbolic way to entice the light back.
The basic premise is that the children make lanterns and then take a candle lit walk in the dark dark woods! You can either make them together as part of your evening together, or everyone can do them at home and then get together.
There are so many types of lanterns to make. What we did was very simple. 

You will need:

A glass jar for each child.
A roll of thin wire eg. florists wire.
Some sheets of coloured tissue paper.
Some pva glue in a small container like an egg cup.
A small brush for each child.
A tealight for each jar.

To begin, tear the tissue paper into small pieces.

Start painting glue onto the glass jar and press pieces of the tissue paper onto it. Continue until the jar is covered.

Once the glue is dry, measure a length of wire to form a long loop, plus extra to wrap around the neck of the jar. Secure it by twisting the ends tightly around the wire where it meets the vertical lengths.
It's important to have a long loop so as to avoid little hands getting too close to the candle!

Once everyone has gathered together outside, the adults can help light the candles. Then we can set off into the dark, dark woods.
These next few photos were taken with a flash so of course it loses the candlelit atmosphere.

It was equal parts thrilling and slightly scary, even for the older children!

They really do get such a thrill out of doing something they would rarely get to otherwise.

There are simple little songs that are traditionally sung for the duration of the walk. It helps if a few people know them to start off.  But any song that includes light or sun would do. The walk by the way need only be ten to fifteen minutes long. Believe me, after ten to fifteen minutes tripping through the darkness, their imaginations start to take off, and it's not long before everyone is ready to head indoors for some warming soup! 


Poetry24 said...

Fabulous idea for the children and adults alike. Good luck to Jay, with the exhibition.

Unknown said...

just LOVE this. we have wonderful woods to tramps through too.

Mise said...

Good luck to Jay! His Mirror Girl and Tide are intriguing. Your wild weather has reached here, but our house is the highest point - shall we send a boat equipped with sherry and buns to save you?

Jess said...

That looks like great fun! Today is a very special day for me, the day my first child was born and now she's carrying her first child. :)x

Sara said...

How very lovely. What better way to walk in the woods than this.

Best wishes to Jay.

Sixteen Chickens said...

How is it that I am 43 years old have just heard of Martinmas Eve this very moment? Thank you for teaching me something new from something old.

affectioknit said...

So Pretty!

Susan said...

What a unique and fascinating tradition, Ciara. Your photos are great, too, and depict the happening so perfectly. Susan

Unknown said...

What a wonderful, fun, family idea!

Juniper said...

What pretty lanterns! Great idea with the cray paper! My parents in law here in Malta talk very fondly of doing the same thing when they were young, with small pumpkins (and instead of walking in the woods it was around the village, through the small stone alleys). No one does it here anymore but they do give children small cloth bags of dried fruit and nuts.

Emma said...

Such a lovely idea. I cannot wait to do things like this with our little one.