Throughout the year, our school celebrates festivals to connect us with the cycle of nature, establish a yearly rhythm for the children, and strengthen our community.
The Harvest Festival
We begin our school year as the heat of the summer begins to wane and the warmth of the sun has ripened the harvest for us to reap. We celebrate the abundance of food and prepare some for storage through the winter days ahead. We prepare for a Harvest Festival in the autumn that becomes a ‘festival of doing’. There may be apple and marigold garland making, a fire pit with roasted corn, apple cider pressing, fiddle music and lots of singing and dancing. There is hearty vegetable soup and harvest bread for all. We close the festival with songs around the fire and go off to home with our treasures we have made and gratefulness in our hearts.
Lantern Walk Festival
In November as the days are growing shorter and the way is growing colder we celebrate Martinmas with a Lantern Walk. This celebration holds within it a feeling of gratefulness for all that we have and a willingness to share with others less fortunate. Each of us have an inner light to share in this season to bring joy to those around us. We make lanterns and families join us on a night walk. We sing songs on our walk then come back to the fire for pumpkin muffins and hot cider before going home to our warm beds. This time of year gives us an opportunity to gather food and resources for shelters in our area and share our blessings with others.
December brings us many reasons to celebrate, among them the Spiral Garden. A spiral path made of evergreen boughs with a candle set on a stump in the center and golden stars along the pathway. We are all on a journey to bring our gifts and our inner light into our community to share with others. We enter into a dark room to soft music from the lyre. After soft singing, the light in the center is lit, then one by one the older children are given an apple with a candle to walk to the center of the spiral and light their candle, then set it on a gold star on the return path from the center. After all have set their candles on the path, the room has brightened with a light from each of us. As we journey through our lives, we touch many with our lights and warm many with our hearts. Silence follows… all leave quietly to go home for gentle reflection.
Springtime is a celebration of new growth. May Day comes with freshness and freedom! We sing our way through this season with joy and gladness! We dance and sing around the maypole and braid the ribbon with laughter and music. We celebrate at a nearby Metro Park so that there is room for everyone to celebrate together. Everyone wears white, children wear their handmade crowns. We close with a delicious potluck lunch, strawberries, and lemonade!