Winter festivals are a special time in a Waldorf School. The season begins with the Advent Garden Spiral.
Students in Early Childhood and younger grades will experience the Advent Garden Spiral on Wednesday, December 2nd.
Advent, a time of waiting and becoming, is perhaps the favorite and most precious time of year for children. There is much warmth, anticipation, and loving preparation for the holiday season. At a time of year when we can be consumed by consumerism and rushed by busy social calendars, the essence of Advent calls upon us to slow down, breathe deeply, prepare, and wonder. We are called to spiritually walk the Advent spiral, the path we have the children walk in our Advent Garden.
The Advent Garden is a large spiral path of evergreens that leads to a center table upon which one candle will be lit in a darkened room. The path is adorned with large stars, and representations of the four earthly kingdoms (mineral, plant, animal, and humankind) are present in the garden. Crystals shine with reflections of the flickering candlelight.
After an opening verse and story, music is gently played while each child in turn walks the path to the center carrying a candle held in an apple. The candle is lit, and then the child walks out. On the journey out, the child chooses a star upon which to place the candle. Not only is there great anticipation as one enters toward the light, but also wonder in the beauty of how the room lightens with each individual deed.
The gift of the light we thankfully take,
But not shall it be alone for our sake.
The more we give light the one to the other,
It shines and spreads life a-growing still further;
Till every spark by friends set aflame,
Till every heart the joy shall proclaim;
Not long shall continue the dark of the year,
The Christ draws near.