Michaelmas 2017, Friday Sept. 29th

Our annual Michaelmas performance will take place Friday, September 29th at 6:30 p.m. on the outdoor stage. Should there be rain, the performance will take place in the gym. A bonfire will take place after the performance with complimentary cider provided through Parent Council.  We will also host a bake sale in support of the Raise the Roof Capital Campaign.

Event Details:

  • Kite Flying: Michaelmas begins with daytime kite flying for our students!
    Kites are provided by SGWS.  Kite flying will take place during the day on Friday, September 29th. Bluebell Garden children will fly their kites at 8:30. Lilac and Lavender Garden children will fly their kites at 11:15.  Parents or caregivers are welcome and encouraged to attend and assist their children.
    Grades students will also fly kites at 12:45.  In the Grades, students will fly kites with their “buddies” from another class.  Parents or caregivers are welcome to observe, but students are to remain with their kite flying partners.  Young siblings may also observe, but must remain with a parent at all times. 
  • The Play: The play will begin at 6:30 PM on the outdoor stage.
    We have early dismissal on the day of our Michaelmas play. This year, Friday the 29th. Students should arrive with their costumes and proceed to their classrooms by 6:15. 
  • Student Roles:
    • First Grade: Gnomes
    • Second Grade: Meteors
    • Third Grade: Peasants and Farmers.
    • Fourth Grade: Knights
    • Fifth Grade:  Chorus, Voices for Meteors
    • Sixth Grade:   Chorus
    • Seventh Grade:   Chorus, Voices for Gnomes, Ringing of the Irons
    • Eighth Grade: The Dragon

The play lasts about 30-40 minutes and is followed by a Bon Fire and cider in the oval. Please remember that parents/guardians are responsible for their children at all times during the bonfire and the building will be closed and locked promptly at 8:00 p.m.  

What is Michaelmas?

In Waldorf education, we celebrate Michaelmas — a traditional Christian celebration of the Archangel St. Michael — observed in the Northern Hemisphere since Roman times on September 29th and typically honored by a feast. Michaelmas is also held around the equinox and has been associated with the beginning of fall and the darker, colder days to come when all of mankind will need strength to survive.

St. Michael is a symbolic leader of the force of good over evil, courage over cowardice, and of watchfulness of languor.   The celebration of Michaelmas teaches the importance of overcoming fear and strengthening resolve.

Spring Garden, and many other Waldorf schools, celebrate Michaelmas by performing a play in the saint’s honor. Our performance’s is a story of King George and how with St. Michael’s help he is able to save the town from an evil dragon. We also fly kites with dragons on them to symbolize taming the dragon and overcoming fear during this “festival of courage.”

The exact story of the play we perform for Michaelmas is not told the same way in biblical or legendary tradition, but it is a variation on a theme of Michael being a warrior saint. But it is not the literal story that represents the importance of the day, but the idea behind the story of good triumphing over evil and light triumphing over darkness. Humankind has many battles over darkness to attend too, many dragons to slay, and this is an essential lesson for our students.

Each student must face their own difficulties in life, both internal and external, and Michaelmas both educates and empowers the children to find the courage to take on and defeat their personal dragons. And so, we celebrate Michaelmas in the Waldorf tradition to remind ourselves of the strength we need in the coming season and in our personal lives to defeat darkness and let hope prevail.

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