The Martinmas festival will take place a few days after the feast day of St. Martin of Tours, who started out as a Roman soldier and later 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 in Amiens, France in order to save the beggar from dying from the cold. That night he dreamed of the beggar as a divine being wearing his cloak, which he took as a sign to continue a pious life helping others.
The traditional way of celebrating Martinmas is with lantern walks or processions, accompanied by singing. St. Martin recognized the divine spark in the poor man of Amiens, and gave him the protection of his own cloak. When we make a lantern, we, too, may feel that we are giving protection to our own little “flame” that was beginning to shine at Michaelmas, so that we may carry it safely through the dark world. It may only be a small and fragile light- but every light brings relief to the darkness.
We hope that you will join us for some festive refreshments, a play, and a reverent parade of handmade candle lanterns.