Festivals & Celebrations

In Waldorf Education, festivals serve as important rhythmic community events over the course of the year. The seasonal, annual nature of these gatherings provide predictable, anticipated community touch points for students, faculty and broader community members alike. Entangled with the seasons, each festival brings a unique alignment with nature’s annual changes and emphasizes the impact of the world around us as we move through the calendar year.

Additional festivals and holidays are also celebrated on a class by class basis to align with curriculum focus points, classroom communities and to ensure reflection and representation of the student body. Festivals and traditions are typically brought to life through stories, songs, verses and traditional activities, thus the study of our students comes alive, fostering a global consciousness and respect for our many unique, human traditions. For more questions around festivals and community events, please contact your Class Teacher who will be happy to engage in an in depth discussion around this topic.

Upcoming 2023 & 2024 Festivals & Celebrations 

September 30, 2023: Michaelmas / Fall Festival

November 9, 2023: Lantern Walk

November 18, 2023: Kindermarket (1:00-4:00PM)

December 1, 2023: Adult Advent Spiral

April 13, 2024: Auction

May 13, 2024: Mayfaire


Quick calendar: Calendar At-a-glance

Visit our live, interactive calendar for full details on events!

Michaelmas

September: Grades 1st to 8th
Michaelmas is celebrated in Waldorf Schools throughout the world at the turn of the fall equinox as a festival of courage. The old legends tell of Michael, the bright, strong angel who tames the dragon and inspires courage within us. Into darkness, fear, apathy and depression, Michael wields his sword of light that we may be inspired to face the inner and outer darkness with renewed strength of will and purpose in our lives, especially as the darkness of winter approaches. Thus, this festival is often celebrated with a story or play of the conquering of the dragon and a feast to give thanks. The day begins with assembly in the morning, an 8th grader will dress as the dragon, all of the grades will play iron instruments to defeat him. Feats of strength (usually 3-4 activities set up), soup and dragon bread.
Michaelmas ilian3

The Lantern Walk

November: PreK to 8th Grade
When the days become short, the sun goes down earlier and the stars appear in the early skies, and the children, according to an old custom, would walk with lanterns through the streets in the early evening singing. This custom is worth renewing, especially if the children can make their lanterns themselves and are thus a part of creating their own light to carry. As the world grows darker the inner light of human beings wants to shine forth. It is no coincidence that the lanterns are often decorated with suns and moons and stars, motifs which also appear in the songs and in our sky to bring light. They suggest heavenly forces that want to live in the souls of human beings on earth. To celebrate the Lantern Walk at Da Vinci Waldorf, EC gathers on a saturday night, star cookies and apple cider are shared. Lanterns are made in class, they walk the school grounds singing songs. Grades all make lanterns that reflect their curriculum. They meet on Nov 11th, enjoy a fire, star cookies, and apple cider. Each parent lights their child’s lantern and we go on our journey in the dark, all together. Children carry lanterns made in class, but please feel free to bring lanterns from home for other family members or friends to use. The children experience this magical evening as we collectively hold a quiet and reverent mood and ask that cell phones, flashlights and cameras stay in pockets.

Kindermarket

November: Full Community & Broader Community Welcome

The community and PTO make crafts and handmade things to sell.

Children are given wooden stars to use as money to purchase gifts for their family.

Adults are also welcome to shop with real money (all proceeds benefit the school).

Sometimes outside vendors are also present.

Kindermarketbread3 1

Santa Lucia Day

December: All Students

The festival of light named for Santa Lucia is celebrated on her birthday, December 13. Lucia, whose name means “light,” lived in the fourth century in Sicily and her birthday is honored in Sicily with a seasonal celebration. The celebration also became a traditional one in Sweden beginning in the eighteenth century, and this is the one we celebrate at our school.

In the original ceremony, the youngest girl from a family is chosen to be Lucia. She rises before dawn and prepares luciakatter (literally, lucia cats), which are rolls seasoned with saffron and cardamon. Then, dressed in a white robe with a red sash, wearing a wreath of candles on her head, Lucia leads a procession of people, some maids of honor, others star boys, to bring rolls and coffee to the neighboring families.

It is our school tradition for the 2nd grade to prepare the luciakatter, dress in white robes, and bring bread to the other classes during main lesson, led by Lucia, the oldest 2nd grade girl. The class sings Santa Lucia, which begins, “Now in the winter night, good folk are waiting, see now the maid of light, darkness abating.”

Advent Spiral

December: All Students

As the sunlight wanes during this season, festivals of lights are celebrated by many cultures around the world. One can find the Hindu festival of Diwali, the Fillipino Fiesta, the Jewish celebration of Chanukah, and the Christian celebration of Advent.

As we near the darkest days of the year, and the absence of light is felt as we await its return. Our Advent Spiral celebration is an opportunity for the children to kindle their own lights to beckon and welcome the return journey of the Light.

The Advent Spiral is set up by our faculty in the Wonder Garden classroom with evergreen branches laying out a large spiral. In the center of the spiral stands a single candle burning bright. The spiral gives the picture of a journey inward to kindle light and truth, and a journey back out into the world, spreading light for others who will make their journey. Each class has the opportunity to walk the spiral.

Mayfaire

May: Full Community & Broader Community Welcome

Held the first Saturday in May, Mayfaire is a celebration carried from ancient times, to say farewell to winter and welcome to spring.

Dances around the Maypole have been passed through generations and honor the fertility of the new season. Parents, children, family and friends are invited to share in the festivities as the children enjoy crafts, food, live music, Lady Spring, and dance the Maypole.

Our Mayfaire event is held & planned by our PTO and realized through community volunteers. 

Join us for

Songs & Stories

A free experiential class for parents and their children.

August 4, 2004 @ 10-11:30am