Thursday, September 27, 2019
Our annual Michaelmas festival draws near at the beginning of each school year. Although the current temperature makes us feel like we are still in summer, autumn is upon us.
The students mark the day with a story at assembly the morning of Michaelmas, followed by a series of games and activities for all the grades students. Throughout the school year, our many festivals and celebratory events follow the annual seasons. Many of these occasions are school-wide, with adults and children invited to participate, and others are specifically for certain ages or classes. Michaelmas games are for students only, although the entire community is welcome for assembly. Learn more.
Why do we celebrate Michaelmas?
Midway between the northern hemisphere’s summer and winter solstices, the ancient festival of Michaelmas is celebrated. As summer’s warmth fades, and the cool crispness of autumn falls upon us, mother nature’s fruits and vegetables ripen for harvesting. Her gifts help sustain us through the dark cold days of winter and remind us to summon our own gifts and inner strength to help balance our internal light with the darkness of the season.
Stories of good versus evil or light versus dark are often told to illuminate the balance of light and dark that we all must strive towards mastering. One favorite Michaelmas story is that of St. George taming the dragon with the sword of justice and courage given to him by the Archangel St. Michael.
A celebration of strength and courage, of facing dragons both internal and external, Michaelmas is a great time to ponder our own inner dragons and to cultivate the courage and strength necessary for self development.
–From "As the Library Lady Sees It," Waldorf Publications” newsletter
St. Michael, a principal angelic warrior known for taming the dragon with his starry sword, represents our own inner courage to face known and unknown fears. We must gather our strength during the shorter darker days brought on by the autumn equinox; for as the earth's energy draws inwards, so does our own. How will we nurture our inner light so it may shine brighter? Are we able to tame the dragons of fear and uncertainty that can emerge when we are no longer nurtured by the warmth of the sun and the abundant growth of the earth? As we approach the edge of winter we must prepare externally as well as internally.