November 11, 2008
We love to celebrate St Martins day, even though there is definitely no snow as in the story, there is still a mix of cooler weather amidst the warm summer winds starting to blow through, and you could imagine needing a warm cloak if you were caught out on the streets at night when the cold changes come back to nip at fingers and toes. Many of us get caught out at this time of year packing away the winter woolies and doonas, only to get them out as one more cold snap returns.
It is a great time to go through and find clothes to donate for charities, and regift unused (or gently used)toys to charities that are just starting their Christmas appeal for those in need. We have a donation box outside a charity just a few blocks from here, so we tell St Martins story at home, then we light our lanterns at dusk, walk down to the box with our chosen donations in silence, and then sing our lantern songs on the way home. It creates a magical mood.
The sunlight fast is dwindling,
my little lamp needs kindling
Its beam shines far in darkest night
Dear Lantern guard me with your light.
Another tradition we uphold passed down from my grandmother is mending day, the day after Martinmas, we spend the day repairing torn clothing (like Martin’s cloak) sewing on buttons, gluing, screwing, sanding or polishing any broken wooden toys that need it, darning any holes from our winter wooles before they go away, etc. A kind of Martinmas spring clean!
Enjoy your celebrations!