Festivals and Holidays
The changing of the seasons and passage of time are marked in the Waldorf schools with festivals inspired by worldwide traditions. Some of these events are reverent and moving, and some are just for fun. It is often through these traditions that we build and enjoy our community.
Ice Cream Social
Typically held the Thursday before the first day of school at the Swallowtail Farm Campus. This is our first opportunity to be back together as a whole school and to celebrate the coming year. We have a barn dance and ice cream, of course!
Held on both the first and last day of school. In the Fall, water is ladled from student to student, from oldest to youngest, symbolizing the sharing of their wisdom. In June, the water is passed from student to student again, but in reverse order. The youngest students pass to the oldest symbolizing the sharing of their youthful joy as we head into summer.
Held the 1st Saturday in October at the Swallowtail Farm Campus. This lovely community event feature cider pressing, games, face painting and a community potluck.
Held at the end of September at our Farm Campus. Michaelmas honors St. Michael, protector of humanity, with a middle school re-enactment of the story of St. George and the Dragon. We reflect on the qualities of goodness and courage, and everyone gets to enjoy the dragon bread after the play.
Held in early November at our Farm Campus. Martinmas (Lantern Walk) recalls the story of St. Martin finding a beggar in the cold, shivering. He tears his cloak in half to share with the beggar. St. Martin represents kindness, and sharing of light and warmth with all those in need. For this festival, we each carry lanterns along a candlelit path around the farm property and through the woods. Older students play music and re-enact scenes from the story. It is a quiet, reverent, and very magical experience.
Advent in the Waldorf school consists of 4 weeks of observance; a week of the mineral kingdom, a week of the plant kingdom, a week of the animal kingdom, and a week of humankind. Each morning all of the grades start their day together singing and hearing a short story.
On St. Nicholas Day, old St. Nick visits the classes along with his mischievous helper, Ruprecht. He brings with him small gifts of fruits and other treats.
Held in early December at our Main Campus, the Spiral of Lights ceremony takes place in a darkened room, lit only by candles, and smelling of fresh evergreens. Students walk one at a time to the center of the evergreen spiral to light their candles, then carefully place them around the spiral on their way out. It is a reminder of the inward journey we make during the dark winter days ahead.
On Santa Lucia Day (December 13th), the oldest 2nd Grade girl will portray Lucia and, along with the help of her classmates all dressed in white, she will deliver the special Santa Lucia saffron buns to each of the classes. They all hear the story of the young girl who delivered food to her famine-struck village at night, wearing a crown of candles to light her pat so both hands could carry food.
Each Valentine's Day the Kindergarten students get to invite a special guest to join them for a fancy tea party. They do much of the preparation themselves, and take great pride in their work.