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Martinmas ~ Hosting a Lantern Walk

Coming right up in November is Martinmas.

In the Waldorf Traditon Martinmas celebrates kindness among friends and family. Martinmas asks us to share our inner light with eachother as we fall forward into the shorter and darker days of autumn and soon to be winter.

The Lantern Walk is a literal symbol of our inner light, the walk is done each of us with our own lantern and usually we sing a quite song. At our playschool this week we are busy making Lanterns for such a walk. We decided on the type of  lantern made from tissue paper and glue with a bit of finger knitting for a handle.

Here is a quick list of what you will need to create your own lanterns for a walk with friends and family or just to light in your window as the days grow darker.



1. Tissue paper ~ Orange and Red are traditional, but this year at playschool we used a light blue

Tear them into pieces about 4 by 3 inches

2. Ferns of Fall leaves, pressed overnight

3. White Glue (Elmer’s or something similar)

4. A few brushes that you don’t mind getting yucky!

5. Ballons

6. Finger knitting about 20 inces long

7. Hole Punch

8. Long stick

9. Tea Light

waiting to be lanterns…


You start by blowing up the balloon and then carefully build your layers of tissue by placing the tissue on the balloon and painting over it with the glue all around the bottom and up towards the knot of the balloon being careful to leave about 2 to 3 inches at the top with no tissue.

Once you have put on at least 4 layers of tissue you can choose what leaves or ferns you want to go on your lantern. Place them and then put 1 more layer of tissue over the whole work.

Hang to dry over night.

hanging balloons to dry

In the morning once your project is dry, pop your balloon!

You can use a whole punch to punch 2 holes at each side of the lantern and lace your length finger knitting through to create a handle.

We love to find neat long sticks with the children to go through the handle, this makes it a little more safe for little hands and in the German tradition of Lantern making.

When you are ready to go just light your lantern’s tea light and off you go!

painting ferns on with glue


3 thoughts on “Martinmas ~ Hosting a Lantern Walk

  1. Beautiful! We’ll have to try this.

  2. It looks like you have some kind of mesh outside of the balloon before you add the tissue paper. is this necessary? Thanks

  3. Thanks so much for the wonderful tutorial! My boys and I were planning to make these this year, but didn’t know where to start. 🙂

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