Festivals celebrating the passing of the seasons are a very important aspect of Waldorf education. They bring rhythm and order to the year and meaning to our lives. The mood of autumn with the diminishing light reminds us to strengthen our inner forces if we are to accomplish the work at hand. Michaelmas and the Lantern Walk capture the mood of this season. We move from the fall into the winter season, marked by visits from St. Nicolas and Santa Lucia, and by the Spiral of Light with the images of light coming into darkness. In spring we celebrate the return of light and life to an earth transformed with our May Day festival.
By participating in these great natural and social experiences, the child builds an inner understanding of the deep qualities of the cycles that exist in all life. Not only do we hope to instill an inner relaxation and trust in these big patterns but also a sense of reverence for the essential divine quality of what is greater than oneself. The festivals that we celebrate at our school include Michaelmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving, St. Nicolas, Santa Lucia, Spiral of Light, May Festival and the Pentathlon. Our Holiday Bazaar is a fund-raising event but must be included here as it is a great celebration for the children and is a wonderful vehicle for showcasing our talented musicians to the parents and the public.
We also have assemblies each year which add to the creation of the rhythm and cyclic repetition of our school year. They bring meaning and rites of passage for our students. Our assemblies include: Fall Assembly-a presentation of student work in grades one-eight for family and friends, Holiday Choral Concert-a presentation given by our choral music program featuring middle and high school students, Spring Assembly-another opportunity to showcase student work, often with an emphasis on the eurythmy program, Spring Music Concerts- featuring our middle school and high school orchestras, instrumental groups and vocal groups.
We have other assemblies which mark rites of passage for our students. The Eighth Grade Honor’s Evening celebrates the transition to high school, provides an opportunity to say farewell to the class teacher and acknowledges the many special subject teachers who have nourished the students for eight or nine years. It is also an opportunity to recognize student achievements.
The Rose Ceremony on the first day of school welcomes the new first grade class and presents them to the teacher who will guide their journey through the next eight years. A senior from our high school presents each new first grader with a rose and then leads them over a wooden bridge, symbolizing the transition from the early childhood program into first grade. The Rose Ceremony on the last day of school is a lovely farewell to the Senior Class and a “good-bye” gathering for the whole school. Teachers and staff members that are leaving the community are also thanked and bid farewell.
The High School Graduation ceremony is a very special event in the life of the school. It takes place on the week-end following the senior play and is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the senior class. It is well attended by staff, all faculty who have taught the class, the High School Choir, family members and many younger school mates who have formed strong bonds with their upper school friends.