Seasonal Festivals mark the year in the life of a Waldorf School. They accentuate the seasons, helping us keep hearts and minds attuned to the earth and its rhythms and cycles. For ancient humanity, festivals were a true observation and celebration of life - planting and reaping, the return of spring, the rebirth of the natural world, the descent into the darkness of winter. Today, the celebration of seasonal festivals reconnects us to the earth and our natural origins.
The festivals are also a vehicle by which the school community finds and expresses its identity and character. We face challenges, we become introspective, we search for illumination, we rejoice at rebirth. The festivals we celebrate, and the way choose to celebrate them, are a reflection of ourselves and our values and bring us together as a school and a community.
In early Fall, our grades classes gather to celebrate the heroic tale of St. George sent by the Archangel Michael, to subdue the dragon and save his village. It is a story of courage and triumph in the face of fear. This time of year is a time of transition and new beginning and for many school children, a new school or new tasks. This story testifies to our human spirit and gives us courage. The students perform a play, sing songs, play games and participate in fun challenges of physical skill and logic.
St. Martin was the patron saint of people on the margins and he served them with compassion. He brought light to those in darkness. Waldorf students worldwide to commemorate this spirit of service through a festival of light. Our community gathers together at dusk with lantens they have made to walk together through the woods singing uplifting songs.
Winter Spiral Walk
This quiet observance is for the youngest students in early childhood and grades. During the darkest time of the year, we wait in anticipation for the light which often feels like it will never come. It is an expectant and busy time with the bustle of the holidays and the shorter days. The festival offers a respite and an opportunity to be still. Children are given an unlit candle and walk through a spiral made of pine boughs to the center where they will light their candle. They make their way alone back through the spiral placing their candle along the path. The light of all the candles join together to bring forth the light.
The long winter is finally over and Lady Spring has chased away Old King Winter. Families gather for a community picnic, music and a traditional dance around the Maypole. Flowers and ribbons adorn the heads of the children and the Maypole as a hopeful sign of spring!