ne European tradition I wish more folks here in the US observed is the lantern walk, where children and adults parade through the night with lighted lanterns and candles. Many Waldorf schools have an annual lantern walk on Martinmas (November 11), and so do many areas with heavily German populations.
Here in Portland, we had one in late September 2001 that turned into a post-attack celebration of our city; thousands of people unexpectedly turned out to walk on our new Esplanade river pathway with all kinds of lanterns, from the most prosaic candle-with-paper-cup kind to elaborate structures that took two people to carry them. As sad and horrifying as those early days were, the sight of thousands of tiny bobbing lights lining both banks of the Willamette River and two of our bridges swelled my heart. We could all use a few extra lights these days, don't you think?
These are the lanterns Josie and I made for that walk.