Towards the end of September we celebrate the festival of Michaelmas. The day is filled with strong imagery of a fiery dragon being conquered by the heavenly hero St. Michael. The image of Michael doing battle with a dragon represents our need for strength and courage against our lower, animal impulses this time of year. The children enjoy activities of strength and courage, share verses and songs. The purpose of this festival is to celebrate human will, inner strength, courage and initiative. It is this spirit of resolve and inner warmth that we seek to carry with us as we begin the school year and as the outer world is growing darker.
In November, Lantern Walk celebrates Martinmas, a festival of inner light in the outer darkness of the approaching winter. Celebrating Martinmas at Azalea Mountain serves as a reminder that each of us has a divine spark that we must ferry out into the world and share with others. The children hear the story of St. Martin, sing songs and venture out into the night with their lanterns walking along a path lit with glowing luminaries in a mood of quiet reverence.
The days grow noticeably shorter, the frosty winter nights become the longest and we all begin to yearn for the light. To symbolize this yearning each December the children participate in a spiral of light. A path is laid out of green boughs of evergreens. Moss, crystals, shells are placed on the greenery and stars of gold shine inside the path. A single candle in the center of the spiral lights the room. One at a time the children walk to the center to light their own candle and then return outward.
May Faire Celebration
We welcome Spring with our May Faire celebration. This is traditionally held during the first weekend of May. May Faire is a time for crafts, music, dancing and joyful community gathering. Children learn songs and interweave ribbons around the May Pole. We invite the entire Asheville community to join us in the festivities.