Waldorf School Festivals - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 12-12-2002, 01:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Anyone want to share which festivals your Waldorf school celebrates and how they do it? Our school gave up "Halloween" a year or so ago and replaced it with classes doing a harvest festival. They also made a change in that they didn't use to include the older Kindergarteners (pre first grade) in the Michaelmas Festival and now they do.

Our school (whole or most grades) do the following:

Michaelmas
Harvest Festival
Martinmas
Advent Garden
St. Nicholas
Santa Lucia (really just the second graders and the adults)
Valentines
May Day

I may be forgetting one and indivdual classes celebrate (some )other cultural and religous days depending on the teacher and the grade.
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#2 of 9 Old 12-12-2002, 05:51 PM
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Michaelmas- yes, but we tame the dragon, we don't slay him. Whole school.

Peace Day (9/11)- Usually involves a potluck peace picnic and peace songs. Whole school.

Halloween- costumes allowed, a few treats, no biggie. By class.

Harvest Festival-yes, a festival open to the public. Whole school.

Martinmas- no

Thanksgiving- Yes, all the kids and a lot of the parents have a pot luck dinner at school the Friday before Thanksgiving. We sufi danced this year!

Advent Garden- Yes, but we do an Advent Spiral, but we count down to Solstice, not Christmas. Whole school.

Christmas and The Festival of Lights, (cause I can't spell Channakah) and whatever other special day(s) that comes up if there is a family in the school that celebrates something other than those.

Valentines- Yes, but usually the grade do their own thing.

May Day Yes, whole school.

It feels like there is something I'm forgetting.

Edited to add:

I should let you know that we are not an accredited AWSNA school.
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#3 of 9 Old 12-12-2002, 06:01 PM
 
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At the Seattle Waldorf School we celebrate the following that I am aware of:

Michaelmas - grade school while the K have Harvest Festival, K is discouraged from attending Michaelmas

Rememberance Day - Nov 2nd in the K, Day of the Dead in grade school, No Halloween in school

Martinmas - not called this but rather it is a latern walks for K, 1 and 2nd grades and the 2nd graders collect coats and blankets for the homeless

Advent Garden - K to 3rd Grade

St. Nicholas - K and grade school

Santa Lucia (really just the second graders and the adults) - grade school

Valentines - K and grade school

Spring Parade - K

May Day - May Festival, whole school on a Saturday just after May 1st
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#4 of 9 Old 12-28-2002, 09:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Would anyone be willing to give more details about how your school (or group) celebrates/observes these festivials?
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#5 of 9 Old 12-29-2002, 01:42 AM
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If you want info from me, ask away, I'll tell you what I know.

Just bear in mind we do this as a "Waldorf inspired" community, not as a sanctioned school.
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#6 of 9 Old 01-02-2003, 12:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by reverendmother
Would anyone be willing to give more details about how your school (or group) celebrates/observes these festivials?
They are each pretty involved. Which one interests you the most?
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#7 of 9 Old 01-03-2003, 05:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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ALL of them

I am most interested in those you would find described in Waldorf Educational materials -- the more "traditional" such as

Michaelmas
Martinmas
St. Nicholas
St. Lucia
Advent Garden
Shepherd's Play
Spring Festivals
May Day

Thanks

Rev. Mother
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#8 of 9 Old 01-05-2003, 02:26 AM
 
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Michaelmas -- our Michaelmas festival is a fairly big deal. We hold it on Saturday (a required school day, we take attendance and everything). It begins with a story, then all the grades children putting on the Michaelmas play (quite an impressive sight for new parents and a VERY big deal for new first graders). This year, our games teacher developed a very nice set of games for all the children to play to develop the theme of effort and of overcoming obstacles.

Martinmas -- after a story, we hold a lantern walk for the younger children (up through grade two this past year), walking through the woods with their lanterns lit.

St. Nicholas -- the younger children receive gifts in their shoes.

Advent Garden -- we have several, age-based advent gardens on the Sunday following Thanksgiving every year.

Shepherd's Play -- we haven't done this in several years

May Day -- another large celebration; we have crafts, a maypole dance, morris dancing and music, lunch and baked goods. Last year, the older children put on their class play, as well.

My school is in Rhode Island.
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#9 of 9 Old 01-12-2003, 02:10 AM
 
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In my Waldorf second grade class (I only had them from January of first grade through the end of second grade) I did Halloween. Each teacher did what they wanted for those more "mainstream" holidays. We made paper bag owls, carved a pumpkin, bobbed for apples, etc. The children were delighted with this break and they were little enough I knew we'd get no work done on Halloween anyway. Their parents loved the "best of both worlds" aspect of activities they remembered from their public school days mixed in with all these festivals that are wonderful, but unfamiliar.

No one had it together to do much for Michaelmas - too early in the school year! We had a little assembly. I haven't been there for a few years now and of course every school is a bit different.

We tried many lantern walk approaches. Eventually each class, or only two classes together, met for a lantern walk and the St Martin story. Having the whole school together was fun in its own way but detracted from the quiet nature of the celebration.

Advent garden was for kindergarten through third grade, though again, only one or two classes attended at a time. Parents and teachers put on the Shepherd's play two evenings near Christmas.

There was a huge holiday fair before Christmas and that was lots of fun.

Big May Day celebrations too- a fair type atmosphere with crafts and games and the maypole.


All this reminiscing makes me want to move to a Waldorf community again, and we only just started homeschooling!
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