Simple Lanterns for Winter Solstice (or St Martin’s Day!)

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Well.. one thing that is really “just us” each year, are our St Martin’s Day celebrations – it is  classic Autumn celebration in Austrian and German countries and involves remembering St Martin, making lanterns and going for a lantern walk in the dark whilst singing some classic children’s songs! Personally, I love this tradition and it is one, that I have done with the children on some scale or another in recent years. The lanterns we made this year, would also be PERFECT for Winter Solstice crafts. The magical, beautiful and EXCITING to make…

Materials: Paper or white sandwich paper, tapered candles of assorted colours, matches, a glass jar, tea lights (if using them as a St Martin’s lantern – wire/ string for hanging & a stick), tape

Alternatively you could use a cut down plastic bottle with an electric tea light or a lantern stick. This would make the less heavy and a little saver for young children. But I think our lanterns are just fine as they are. And now that St Martin’s Day is over for us (we celebrated the day early this year, due to other commitments and the opportunity of visiting German friends), we are going to have these as candle votives on the mantle piece.


1) We had two adults and 4 children doing this – as you are working with candles and “live flames”, it is important that you supervise your children closely. We had one adult per lit candle, but the children got do all the “work”. Light your candle, hold over your paper and let the wax drip. Moving the candle around the paper to spread the dots. You can see that my kids took it VERY seriously.

2) Let cool/ dry.

3) Then cut the paper down to size to fit around your glass jar. Tape on.

4) If using as a lantern, tie some wire or string securely around the top of your jar, and tie to your stick.

Light your candles and go sing your heart out (for St Martin’s Day) or light your candles and decorate your mantle piece to celebrate Winter Solstice.

We then took our lanterns outside and went for a walk around our friend’s very large garden. The children and us sang “Laterne, Laterne, Sonnen Mond und Sterne”, as well as “Ich Geh Mit Meiner Laterne”… Lovely.

Have you got any Winter Solstice Crafts to share?