Jackson's preschool celebrated their Lantern Festival just before Halloween, though I haven't had a chance to sift through all of the photos to share until tonight. It was a rainy, cold day all day before the festival and we were worried that the event would be rained out. But a break in the rain appeared just at dusk, when the festival started, allowing the school's teachers, students, parents and friends to gather at Lake Nokomis for the circle time and lantern walk.
We didn't know anything about Martinmas before now and lantern festivals were new to both Dan and me, though we learned from Jackson's Omi that she used to celebrate lantern festivals in Germany as a young girl. I think it's so cool that Jackson can have this connection to her and am hoping that his lantern will last until we get to visit with Dan's family in person again.
Jackson was so proud of the papier-mâché lantern he made at school and I was beyond thrilled to see such a creative project coming home from preschool. We adore his school specifically for reasons like this. The festivals, the connection to nature, the crafts...it's just a neat place.
Our November weather has been so mild already (64 degrees Fahrenheit today!) so tonight was the perfect weather to head out after dinner for another lantern walk around our neighborhood. We had better luck keeping the candle lit this time (perhaps because he wasn't always running ahead to catch up with his friends like last time?) and enjoyed making up stories about the shadows we were casting. The stars were out too, though Jackson didn't want to sing starry songs with me because "they're too far away to touch, Mom, even YOU can't reach that high tonight." Oh well, it was fun without the songs.
I have to say I was happy to hear that Jackson only wanted to walk with me, instead of the whole family. We had some serious cuddling/talking/playing time this afternoon and it was the first time we've been able to connect in a long while. Lots of talk of school (dos and don'ts, so many things to work on socially as a new preschooler), lots of imaginative play, lots of silliness with Amelia--we should have been outside in the backyard enjoying the weather, but nothing could have torn me away from the peace and goodwill amongst family that was occurring indoors today. Not even 60 degrees in November.
And holding mittened hands with my son on a calm evening walk tonight will be an awesome memory that I will hold onto for a long time.