Today we celebrated Michaelmas with the local Waldorf community.
Michaelmas is named for Saint Michael, one of the four archangels, he is the angle of courage, the angle of the fight against evil. This celebration, as I understand it, invites us to take courage for the long dark winter ahead from saint Michael. I must confess that while I have for years now celebrated many of the festivals significant to the seasons and certain holidays especially in the Waldorf tradition, this was my first Michaelmas, so for a more in depth explanation of this wonderful celebration please look here
It was indeed a lovely celebration with every attention to detail
There were beautiful crafts for the children to do, weaving a fairy loom
and making wet felted comet balls
what really got my children, truly all the children, very engaged was the apple cider pressing. Everyone helped, first a few then everyone, and it was wonderful to see how quickly they got a system down. One would put the apples into the water, then many hands would wash them and put them into the dry tub. Once enough apples were cleaned, the children took turns adding the apples into the press, where they were first crushed by one the arm power of one of the children. Once the bucket underneath was full with the crushed apples, a lid was fixed to the bucket (and here I run out of proper vocabulary for this) and with the help of a dasher of sort (?) and a horizontal cross bar, pressed by the children walking around the bucket pushing the bar (hope that made sense:)) And finally drinking the freshly pressed juice. It was wonderful the entire process, all we needed to complete the experience was to have just returned from the tree picking the apples ourselves
Then came story time, a puppet show about Saint Michael and the dragon, it was made even more special by all the children following "mother nature", hand in hand, through a little forrest path to a shelter where the scene was set up for the play. The show was beautifully played and the children sat fully engaged
with the story. Once the puppet story was finished and while singing a song together everyone helped move the benches to the side to make room for a big circle, if a thunderstorm had not just descended upon the roofs of the shelter we would have surely done the circle outside. We all learned two simple verses about St Michael which we all sang together, I had chills it was so beautiful. And as a completion, a dragon appeared which was then defeated by the courageous St Michael.
Then we shared a potluck dinner of yummy foods, while the rain drummed on the roof, and of course the children so full of excitement all ran into the rain, splashing in puddles running and jumping. It was a joy to behold. What childhood is all about.
I give thanks to all the beautiful families who helped put this wonderful celebration together.
It was a lovely to participate.
It was lovely, truly lovely. Arranged with true intention, and this was felt by the children.
My favorite parts about Waldorf has always been the attention to natural beauty, to nature, to simplicity, the attention to the whole (be that a person or a process) and not least the reverence given to the task at hand, this festival represented all of those things, and I feel this goes a long way to help our children grow into sincere and caring adults, with a true connection to nature and world around them.
~thanks for coming by, and a beautiful rest of the weekend to you~