Approaching the solstice, each day, dark comes earlier. But for students at Sunfield Farm and Waldorf School, the coming of winter is a time to celebrate.
On Nov. 8, as darkness fell, Sunfield students gathered around a crackling, warm fire—lanterns in hand.
The lantern festival is the celebration of Saint Martin, or Martinmas. In Europe, this festival is celebrated by children walking through the streets of their neighborhoods, carrying lanterns and singing songs.
Saint Martin lived in France in the third century. He was a Roman soldier who refused to fight and is known as a saint of pacifism and equal rights.
During Sunfield’s lantern festival, students walked through a candle-lit path at the school’s farm, holding the decorated lanterns they made in class and singing traditional Martinmas songs.
The path led them to Sunfield’s magical pumpkin village, where each class, along with their families, looked upon an array of carved pumpkins.
These aren’t Jack-o-lanterns: Sunfield’s pumpkins aren’t carved into grimacing faces, but instead into ornate and cozy cottages—candle-lit homes for tiny invisible creatures.