Martinmas is a the holiday that occurs between Michaelmas and Christmas on November 11th.  St Martin is best known for his act of kindness towards a poor beggar he encountered who was freezing in the Winter cold.  Martin used his sword to cut his own cloak in two pieces, giving one to the beggar.  This act of compassion gave the beggar hope and comfort.  The traditional symbol for the Martinmas holiday is the lantern.  The lantern is the symbol of our own light which we can shine on a dark world, and in Waldorf school we celebrate the holiday by holding a “lantern walk”.


From Wikipedia

St. Martin’s Day, also known as the Feast of St. MartinMartinstag or Martinmas, the Feast of St Martin of Tours or Martin le Miséricordieux, is a time for feasting celebrations. This is the time when autumn wheat seeding was completed, and the annual slaughter of fattened cattle produced “Martinmas beef”.[1] Historically, hiring fairs were held where farm laborers would seek new posts. November 11 is the feast day of St. Martin of Tours, who started out as a Roman soldier. He was baptized as an adult and became a monk. It is understood that he was a kind man who led a quiet and simple life. The most famous legend of his life is that he once cut his cloak in half to share with a beggar during a snowstorm, to save the beggar from dying of the cold. That night he dreamed that Jesus was wearing the half-cloak Martin had given away. Martin heard Jesus say to the angels: “Here is Martin, the Roman soldier who is not baptised; he has clothed me.” [2]


Here is a video from The City School’s Martinmas Celebration!


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