At Olympia Waldorf School, like Waldorf schools around the world, the celebration of seasonal festivals renews our awareness of the rhythms of the year and fosters the children’s relationship to the world into which they grow. Our festivals are brought to life thought the efforts of our entire school community and are a cherished part of the life of our school.
In addition to our three main seasonal festivals, parents are welcome to attend the various all-school daytime assemblies which are held throughout the year, including the Rose Ceremony on the first day of school, Friday Morning Assemblies, and Eighth Grade Graduation and End of the Year Assembly.
BOOKENDS OF OUR SCHOOL YEAR:
The Rose Ceremony and Eighth Grade Graduation
Michaelmas, the festival of courage, is one of many historical festivals that have evolved over time to encompass both the secular and the spiritual, that are celebrated in Waldorf schools around the world as sign-posts of the changing seasons.
Michaelmas is the feast of St. Michael, patron saint of the sea and maritime lands, of ships and boatmen, of horses and horsemen. Michaelmas is still one of the four "quarter dates" in the British Isles, falling roughly on the dates of the solstices and equinoxes--four days of the year around which community, religious, agricultural, and political rhythms of life were woven. The first term of the scholastic year in England is still called "Michaelmas term." Historically, Michaelmas has also been a time to practice rituals to ensure prosperity for the coming year, such as roasting a Michaelmas geese or baking mammoth loaves of bread.
We too associate Michaelmas with the shortening of days, with the beginning of the school year. It's plain to see why we love this festival--for its celebration of the harvest, for its feasting; for its message of bravery and good deeds; for its encouraging transition from one season to another.
Do you hear the faint jingle of bells? Winter Faire is right around the corner. On the first Saturday in December our school celebrates the magic and enchantment of the holiday season. There will be fun for all ages. This celebration is a gift to children all around Olympia!
Enjoy warm, freshly-baked gingerbread, music and puppet plays, wonderful new crafts and perennial favorites too! There are magical activities for the whole family! Click here to learn more!
“...if rituals and festivals have traditionally contributed to the integration and stability of communities and societies, then in the modern context they may do the same for our personal integration and for a healthy social ethos.”
—Diana Carey and Judy Large, from Festivals, Family, and Food
“Celebrating festivals illuminates our life on earth with heavenly meaning and shows us the significance of our human existence in the universe. We human beings stand between the two worlds uniting them in ourselves. We are the crossing point where the upper circle representing the heavens flows into the lower one belonging to the earth.”
-Evelyn Frances Derry