Every year around November 11th, lanterns shine brightly through the streets. We celebrate the feast of St. Martin! St. Martin was born around 316 in Savaria and entered military service at an early age. Inspired by the experience with the beggar, he was baptized, became a priest first and later the bishop of Tours. On November 8, 397 he died at the high age of 81 years. On November 11, his funeral was held with great participation of the population. St. Martin - bringing a light into the dark season! The tradition of the lantern run around St. Martin is symbolic of carrying the inner light outside. The light that dispels the darkness. Protected and yet translucent. The children carry their lanterns singing through the streets of this world. In the material world, a posture is practiced that can be internalized in this way. Against the darkness in the world, to let our own light shine, brings us on the way to be a carrier of light.
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St. Martin's Day reminds us of mercy and compassion - inner gestures that are so important in our time. Rudolf Steiner, the founder of Anthroposophy, expressed himself in the lecture "Earth Knowledge and Heavenly Knowledge (GA 221) in the following way: "But the truly moral, which actually clings to the human individuality, lives in it, is already so constituted that the good comes from that interest that we have in the other person; from that interest that we can gain by feeling and experiencing as our own what others feel and experience, while the immoral in the original is something where the person closes himself off, where he does not feel what other people feel. St. Martin in Waldorf Kindergarten Children learn compassion not through moral explanations, but by experiencing and imitating. Through our being, thinking and acting they experience what it means to live compassion. Celebrations and rituals, such as decorating the seasonal table and all the many traditions around St. Martin, offer a way to develop compassion in the children not as an edifice of thoughts, but as a deep feeling. St. Martin as a festival in autumn, in the now darker and colder season, lets us stop for a break. How cosy can the hours be, in which we sit together and eagerly tinker on our lanterns or bake Martin's croissants together. These recurring traditions give the children orientation and self-awareness and open up the spaces within us that are needed to take advantage of the opportunity to grow and develop, which are the festivals of the year.