Throughout the year, our community gathers to celebrate festivals that connect us with the cycles of nature, establish a yearly rhythm for the children, and strengthen our community. Festivals help us to nourish our souls through the sharing of stories, food, songs and activities linked to the seasons and expressed with beauty and reverence. In addition to the community wide festivals listed here, teachers celebrate other festivals in the classroom, including those connected to different cultures being studied or the religious traditions of the students in the class.
Celebrated late September, this festival celebrates human will, inner strength, courage and initiative. It serves as a symbolic reminder for the whole community that we each should strive to overcome our inner dragons such as fear, jealousy, and selfishness. The strong, willful iron of Michael’s sword acts as an antidote to the desire to fall asleep with the dying world of nature. Our Michaelmas festival has consisted of a play or puppet show followed by potluck, crafts and apple cider making.
The days grow noticeably shorter in December, the frosty winter nights approach their longest, and we all begin to yearn for the light, which so recently illuminated our lives. For our Winter Advent Spiral, a spiraling path is created of boughs of evergreens. Music sets the mood as families enter the room to watch the children walk the path of the spiral. A single candle in the center of the spiral is lit once all are seated quietly. As each child approaches the entrance of the spiral they receive a white candle in a shiny red apple to carry to the center of the spiral. They light their own candle from the center candle and then return outward, placing their candle and apple along the path. When all have walked the path, the whole spiral is aglow with lights.
This is a chance to celebrate the coming of Spring. There is live music, craft activities, a marketplace with handcrafted items, food, and, of course, the May Pole Dance. The May Day Faire is held in the first days of the month.
This midsummer festival celebration helps us to take in the full power of nature to enrich our spirits and purify our hearts. It is traditionally celebrated with a bonfire and lots of good food.