“Throughout the world, in all civilizations, there are celebrations reflecting nature’s rhythms, important transitions, and significant moments in the life of the culture. We celebrate these to sustain and renew ourselves.
“For many of us today, our busy lives and full schedules can limit the possibilities for us to participated in the marvel of the seasons. Festivals, marking the cardinal points in the year, can provide a touchstone for the cycles of the earth and renewal of the spirit. In Waldorf schools, the elements of festival—light, food, song and story—permeate the weekly school rhythm; but the cadence of the year receives its form through annual festivals of nature and humanity. We celebrate in ways that foster wonder, reverence and gratitude and nourish the future capacity to respond—to be responsible for and among the human community.”
(Adapted from a beautiful offering by our friends at the Eugene Waldorf School)
In autumn, Harvest Festival celebrates seasonal bounty with community gathering, dancing, singing, games, and a potluck. Students from 2nd through 12th grade participate in the Michaelmas Play each year, reenacting the famous story of Sir George and the Dragon, and inviting us to look for the light and strength within ourselves as winter approaches.
Traditions from many cultures and eras mark this period of the year as a time to celebrate the light in the darkness of winter. The Spiral of Lights reverently and peacefully embodies this mood, while Saint Nicholas Day brings joy and humor. Santa Lucia offers a Scandinavian experience of the celebration, and our Winter Assembly is an ever changing presentation – a gift from the teachers to the students.
The coming of spring brings our biggest festival of the year: May Faire! All our friends from the local community and PWS family past, present and future are invited to join us as we cross our fingers for sunshine, and celebrate the joy and energy of springtime.
Other festivals are brought to individual classrooms as pieces of the curriculum journey. Parents are encouraged to talk to their children’s teachers about bringing festival celebrations into the classroom to share!