A Guide to Spring Garden Waldorf Festivals

» Posted by on Sep 11, 2013 in Curriculum, School News | 0 comments

In the Waldorf tradition, festivals offer an important connection to the changing seasons of nature and the changing cycles of life. Children are encouraged to connect with the world around them and the rhythms found in nature and humanity. Below are brief descriptions of each festival. For more detailed information about a festival, click the festival name link.

The Rose Ceremony – Our First and Eighth graders are embarking on milestones in their school careers and we mark this important transition with our annual Rose Ceremony. Pairing young incoming students with their responsible eighth grade buddies, is a milestone for both young people in the pairing. The young children are entering a new phase in life — where schooling and community, away from parents, will support their budding sense of self, learning and individuality. The older children are entering into young adulthood and are ready to be leaders and guides in their own life and in their community.

Michaelmas – Our school hosts this celebration around the time of the autumnal equinox. St. Michael conquers the dragon using his star sword and represents external and internal strength. This festival has also been associated with harvest in the Northern Hemisphere.

Martinmas – Another traditional harvest festival, St. Martin, a patron saint of the poor and outcast, is celebrated by lighting and carrying lanterns to represent how St. Martin spent his life bringing light and warmth to those in darkness.

Pumpkin Walk –Spring Garden extends this theme of harvest and light in the darker days of autumn with our annual pumpkin walk. First the children create a hand carved pumpkin in school, then parents arrange and light them for the night-time walk. Our teachers also sit along the trail, dressed up and smiling to pass treats out to the joyful children.

Children’s Festival — Children adore this celebration. Spring Garden welcomes the greater community to experience our creative offerings – crafts, food, magical rooms, and fun activities can be experienced at our day-long celebration of family fun.

St. Nicholas – Still a treasured holiday in many European countries, St. Nicholas Day begins December 6th.  At Spring Garden, St. Nicholas brings the children simple gifts that they find in their shoes, left out in the hallway the previous day.  Many believe Santa Claus has his origins in this celebration.

St. Lucia– Celebrated primarily in Scandinavia countries,St. Lucia is celebrated by dressing a young woman in white with a crown of candles. Like many celebrations of light this time of year, St. Lucy, as she is nicknamed, brings light to Sweden on it’s darkest day — December 13th .

Advent — Derived from the Latin word adventus meaning “coming,” begins near November 30th and is a period of waiting for the return of light – from Christ or the Winter Solstice. Spring Garden celebrates this holiday with reverence by having children sing as they walk in a spiral with candles.

Valentines Day– Children bring small cards for their friends, often homemade, and exchange them during a classroom celebration, run by their main lesson teacher.

May Day – Near May 1st we welcome spring, even if Northeast Ohio wants to stay chilly. We all hope for a warm sunny day, but go outside regardless and sing and dance around the May pole.

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