In our celebration of festivals, we strive to find in each festival its human connection with the rhythms of the earth, connections which are common throughout every culture and religion. We believe that festive ceremonies associated with these universal experiences help reveal the deeper significance in everyday occurrences and foster inclusiveness.
Opening Rose Ceremony Assembly The Opening Rose Ceremony Assembly celebrates the first morning of the school year where students, faculty, staff, parents, and friends gather. The community is introduced to Faculty, Board and Staff. The First Graders are welcomed with the gift of a rose from the Eighth Graders..
Michaelmas Michaelmas is celebrated toward the end of September. The heavenly hero Michael appears as a protector of humankind, inspiring strength and courage. The students hear stories about the brave knight who overcomes the fiery dragon with his sword of light, and they enjoy games of courage and strength. The purpose of this festival is to celebrate human will, inner strength, courage and initiative; it is this spirit of resolve that we seek to carry with us as we begin the school year.
Martinmas On the evening of Martinmas (in November), when days become short, the sun goes down early, and the stars appear in the skies, we encourage students and parents to attend a lantern walk. The lanterns are an outward sign of the inner light that wants to shine forth in this time of year. After the walk, we may wish to gather around a bonfire for singing and snacks. As we approach the winter solstice, both Christian and Jewish traditions use the outward symbol of candlelight to remind us of the inner light of hope and renewal that shines in each of us.
St. Nicholas Day This festival is celebrated in Waldorf schools because St. Nicholas is such an example for the virtue of helping others, a quality which we hope to instill in our students. At our school, St. Nicholas visits the classrooms, citing things done well or points that could be improved. The focus is not on whether the child has been naughty or nice, but on the inner qualities of each child, both the strengths and weaknesses, and advice for growth. We also follow the tradition of putting out shoes the evening before for St. Nicholas to fill with treats (often a Clementine, gold chocolate coin, and/or walnuts).