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Community Lantern Walk Comes to Princeton

“Festivals of light” in the fall and winter seasons are celebrated in a multitude of cultures: Diwali, Hanukkah, Loi Krathong, St. Lucia’s Day, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and St. Martin’s Day. Each festival has its own rich history, but all honor a simple human hope: light in the face of darkness.

St. Martin’s Day (Martinmas), or Laternelaufen, is a tradition preserved in Waldorf schools everywhere with an annual lantern walk. Tied to the legend of St. Martin, a French soldier who gave half his coat to warm a beggar in need, the event includes walking through the streets or woods, lanterns aloft, singing songs about sharing, the season, or the lanterns themselves. Gathering together to carry light and warmth into the darkness is reassuring, and affirms symbolically that light can continue to shine even as the sun wanes.

This year, members of the Princeton community join together to carry their light forward. On Saturday, November 15, from 6 to 8 pm, the Waldorf School of Princeton, jaZams, Arts Council of Princeton, Princeton Walking Tours, Yoga Stream, and Chez Alice will host a Community Lantern Walk. A free event open to all ages, the walk will commence on the green in Palmer Square, and wind around downtown Princeton, with song, warm cider, and stories of selflessness and strength.

Lanterns are available for purchase at jaZams, or participants may bring their own; instructions for simple home-made lanterns may be found here and  here! A portion of the proceeds from the sale of lanterns will be donated to HomeFront. 

In the spirit of the occasion, this event is free; however, registration is mandatory.  Please email [email protected] to attend the event. 

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