The celebration of the festivals throughout the year is important to mark the seasonal changes and the rhythms of the earth outwardly and inwardly. This creates a further supportive rhythm in the lives of the children as they move up the school. Each festival has its own distinctive mood and parents are encouraged to join with the teachers and children in building a tradition of marking the festivals. The Lower School children learn about festivals celebrated in other cultures throughout the year and connections can be made between cultures and their traditions.
Some festivals are celebrated as a whole school community, some are just done in school during the school day:
Michaelmas is the first festival if the school year and marks the changing season to Autumn. It is a festival of courage and giving thanks for the harvest and looking forward to the year ahead with courage, perseverance and strength. The Lower School usually perform a play about St Michael for the school community.
As the evenings draw in we make lanterns and go on a lantern walk. This festival is at the time of Martinmas and the story of St Martin is told, it also coincides with the Hindu festival of Divali. It is a festival celebrating the divine spark within us as the cloak of winter darkens around us.
Traditionally celebrated with maypole dancing, this is a beautiful festival. The children spend the week before practising their dances and dress in their finest with garlands of flowers to rejoice at the coming of the summer.
As the frosty mornings of winter begin, Advent brings a quiet hope and anticipation of Christmas. By creating a relationship to nature (it is a time of outer darkness and inner light), we move towards the true preparation for Christmas, and away from outer materialism. An Advent Spiral has become a popular tradition and is one of the festive highlights of the year.
This is the celebration of the coming of the spring, the snowdrops are just coming out of the cold earth. We celebrate the returning if the light with candles and spring songs.
Easter, as a celebration of renewal, marks the festivities of spring, an egg hunt, egg painting and outdoor activities (weather permitting) take place.
The Midsummer Festival marks the end of the school year and the beginning of the summer, it is a festival of flowers, fire and singing, usually culminating in a family picnic.
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