Festivals & Celebrations
Since ancient days, human beings all over the world have celebrated festivals to mark familiar milestones in the circling course of the seasons. These festivals help to link mankind in awareness and wonder to the cycles of warmth and cold, light and dark, birth and death, and sowing and reaping within the rhythms of nature. Individuals are inwardly nourished and community life is strengthened in the celebration of festivals. Children delight in the festivity. In Waldorf schools, festivals and celebrations are given particular emphasis. Following are some festivals celebrated:
This festival of the beginning of summer is celebrated at the school with music, blossoms, ribbons and Maypole dancing. The local Morris and Garland dancing teams visit us, and Jack-in-the-Green has been known to appear. The dancing is followed by a picnic and games. Families are encouraged to attend, even though the first of May is often a school day. Nowhere in the Berkshires is summer welcomed more joyfully!
In late September, Michaelmas is a celebration of the harvest and a kindling of inner strength and courage when all of nature appears to die. The central image is that of Michael overcoming the dragon. The children celebrate with an assembly of story and song, outdoor work or artistic activity.
During the school day, elementary school children parade in costume to the auditorium for Halloween festivities. Costumes should be imaginative and homemade. Kindergarten children have their own special celebration.
Birthdays are celebrated as close to the actual day as possible.
Parents of early childhood students are invited to join the class and traditionally bring a wholesome, festive snack to share with the class. Parents may share a special wish for their child on this day.
Elementary school students celebrate their birthdays in a quiet and meaningful way, which may include lighting a candle, saying a special verse or poem together, or sharing a home-made treat brought in by the birthday child.
The Foreign Language program is enriched by the celebration of festivals that are part of Spanish culture, such as the Spanish Day of the Dead in the fifth grade.
The beginning and end of the school year are both marked with school community picnics. The Week at a Glance email and calendar update will include announcements of picnic dates, celebrations sponsored by different classes, and other community events.