Festival celebrated by Early Childhood and Grades 1-8 on two days in October.
For more on all of the Waldorf festivals, visit this page on our website: www.waldorfschoolofcapecod.org/festivals
The Historical celebration of Michaelmas traditionally took place on September 29th and was derived from the older, pagan celebrations of the autumnal equinox. With the advent of Christianity, it became known as the feast of St. Michael and all the angels. The Archangel Michael is one of the principal angelic warriors, seen as a protector against the dark of night.
Bringing the Michaelmas season to your home and family can be done very simply. As with all our festivals, we ask that you do not try to explain things to your children with detailed, intellectual explanations. Simply participating in the seasonal activities is enough. Stop and watch the cranberry harvest for a few moments if you happen to see it while you are driving. Taking the family apple picking, raking leaves and “putting the garden to bed for the winter” are all simple activities that the family can enjoy and share together.
Wednesday, October 4, 2017 - Early Childhood Michaelmas Celebration
Early Childhood classes will celebrate Michaelmas on Wednesday, October 4 (rain date October 11) with the Beach Rose, Sunflower and Morning Glory children and their parents. We plan on working in the EC garden planting perennials and bulbs. We invite any family in our school to donate perennials (are you planning on splitting any from your garden at home?) and bulbs for us to plant during our celebration. EC parents, please dress to work in the garden and please bring shovels and trowels. We will have a festive snack, picnic-style, out on the playground to complete our celebration. Please bring any perennials you wish to donate on Monday or Tuesday, October 2nd or 3rd.
There will be a cardboard box to collect donations in the EC cubbie room.
Friday, October 6, 2017 - Grades 1-8 Michaelmas Celebration
On Friday morning at 9 am, Classes 1 through 4/5 will present our traditional Michaelmas play. Parents and caregivers are invited to watch the play, which takes place in front of the play house on the edge of the woods behind the school. The audience gathers around and stands for the short play.
In the afternoon, Grades 6-8 will continue to celebrate Michaelmas by participating in various activities to challenge their physical strength, intelligence and ability to work together in a group. These challenges are to give the children the self-confidence they need to approach the year ahead, particularly the coming dark and cold of the winter season. The afternoon portion of the festival is designed for students only. We ask that only teachers and volunteers who are filling specific roles be present.
The afternoon is capped off by our 8th graders, as they build a Michaelmas dragon with only natural materials donated by the community. The rest of the students watch and cheer them on, then finally place their Michaelmas shields around the dragon. Parents & caregivers are invited to this portion of the event, and may gather at 2:15 pm near the garden shed behind the school. (If parents arrive early, students must still return to their classrooms with their teachers for regular dismissal.)
Community Volunteers Needed
For the lower grades we will need parents or caregivers to again play the roles of the guides through the various realms of the four Michaelmas dragons: earth, air, fire and water. If you are interested in taking on a role and acting out the part, please sign up on the bulletin board across from Classes 1 and 2/3. For the upper grades we could use a couple of volunteers during the challenges (preferably someone with some physical strength.)
We also need several volunteers to help us set up in the morning. Morning set-up will take place starting at 8:15 am. If you are interested in helping during the grades celebrations on Friday you would need to be here from 12:30 to 3:00 pm. Finally, we need volunteers for cleanup at 3:05 pm. If you are able to help in any of these areas, please sign up in the foyer. You can also contact your child's teacher for more information.
Natural Materials for Dragon Building
Donations needed to support the festival include:
Harvest produce such as pumpkins, gourds, straw bales (preferred over hay, as straw can be used in the garden after the festival), cornstalks, dried flowers, fall flowers, (asters, chrysanthemums;) interestingly shaped branches and stumps; and any other natural materials you can think of to help the 8th graders create their dragon.
The Michaelmas play will happen rain or shine on Friday, October 6, but in case of rain, the grades challenges will be held on Friday, October 13.
If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact the office or speak with your child’s teacher.
~ Claire Small for Festivals Committee