Martinmas is observed on November 11 and celebrates St. Martin of Tours. The story of St. Martin (in a very abbreviated way) is that Martin was a Roman soldier, not known for his kindness. He had been a brutal fighter, persecuting Christians and whomever else the army told him to. It started to wear on his soul, and one day, he came across a beggar, shivering in the cold. At first Martin was going to turn away, but then something in his heart changed, and he cut his cloak in half, giving half to the beggar so he would not freeze. That night, Christ came to Martin in a dream or vision and Martin realized that beggar had been Christ in disguise. From then on, he changed his ways and became a devout follower of Christ. What I love, love, love about the story of St. Martin is that it reminds us to look for Christ in every person; in other words, to look for the good in every person you meet and to treat all people with compassion and justice. This was what I emphasized with my son, as he acted out the story with some of our peg dolls I made.Then we read this lovely blessing:
Then it was cookie time, using this recipe (except we switched out cinnamon for the almonds since the Kiddo doesn’t like those).
We decided to make ours into hearts, to represent St. Martin’s love for Christ. We also made some apple shaped ones because the day was such a gorgeous Autumn day, so it seemed appropriate. The kiddo got to make cookies with both of us parental units involved, so he had a blast.
A friend sent me this absolutely beautiful beeswax lantern (with leaves from one of her favourite trees encased in it!) and we lit this with our snack of cookies in the evening. It smells amazing and looks so lovely, lit up or not. I really cherish it (and her kindness).
The background in our display and my son’s acting out of the St. Martin story is one of these wooden backgrounds I made for a swap:
It shows a bundled up girl out for an evening lantern walk, observing Martinmas.
After I drew the image on with pencil, I wood-burned and watercoloured it. I am working on some others of these for other holidays, too. I might list some in my Etsy shop at some point, too.
If you celebrated the day, what did you do? Any favourite books or recipes or traditions?