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!