Monday, November 11, 2013

Celebrate St. Martin of Tours {Free Martinmas Lantern Printable!}

Today is Martinmas (the feast day of St. Martin of Tours)!  St. Martin was a Roman soldier (and later became a Bishop) born in 316 A.D. He was forced into the military when he was quite young.  He is most well known for the famous story in which he encountered a beggar on a cold wintery day.  Filled with compassion for this shivering man, Martin cut his cloak in half, giving part of it to the beggar.  Later that night he dreamed that the beggar was Jesus himself.

In many countries, Martinmas is celebrated by children processing with paper lanterns at night. They sing songs, receive candy and build bonfires as well.  To honor this tradition, I thought it would be fun to make a paper lantern printable for children to cut, color and light (using an artificial candle, that is!). Today, the feast of St. Martin coincides with Veterans Day, which is nice since he is the patron saint of soldiers.  There is a prayer for soldiers included on one of the panels of the lantern, which would be nice to pray this evening.

Below is the printable.  Simply click on the link and you will be directed to Google Docs:

 (The printable is a microsoft word document)

Here is how to assemble your lantern:

1.  After printing (and coloring!) your lantern, cut and discard top section of page along thick black "scalloped" lines.   



2. Fold lantern into 4 vertical sections along dotted lines.  Cut along folded lines from the bottom up to the solid line.  This will create 4 flaps that will become the bottom of your lantern.


3. Fold bottom flaps along solid lines, placing glue on the inner bottom of each flap (I used glue stick).  Place one flap on top of the other, holding in place for a few second to let glue dry.


4. Place tape along the opening of the lantern walls to close remaining gap.  Your lantern is now complete and ready to illuminate!

5.  If you want your lantern to have a handle (nice for children to process with!), simply cut a thin strip of paper, cardstock or ribbon, and tape across any 2 opposite walls of the lantern.


6.  Place a battery-operated artificial tea light candle inside and enjoy the pretty luminary you made!

And remember to say the pray in honor of our soldiers this Veterans Day! 


Happy Martinmas!

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