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Celebrating Seasonal Festivals

One of the integral elements of a Waldorf Education (and one of the things many of us love most about being in a Waldorf community) is celebrating seasonal festivals. These celebrations create beautiful memories for the children and connect the whole family to the seasons, giving the year a lovely sense of rhythm.

At Green Meadow, we pride ourselves on celebrating a diverse collection of holidays that resonate with our multicultural parent body, knowing that every celebration honors different virtues and values. In September, we celebrate Michaelmas, which remembers the courage of St. Michael as he fought the dragon, and we look forward to the sweetness of Rosh Hashanah , the Jewish new year, and the sacredness of Yom Kippur, the day of atonement. The Muslim families in our community fast each year for the month of Ramadan, which is usually in the fall but moves according to the lunar calendar. Each October, we hold the beloved Fall Fair (coming soon--details below), with pumpkin carving, cider pressing, hayrides, face painting, and much more. We also celebrate Diwali, the Indian festival of light, in many classrooms, and our sister organizations, the Threefold Educational Center and Eurythmy Spring Valley, host a magical Lantern Walk on Halloween. In November, Green Meadow families from all over the world gather for a US-style Thanksgiving, and December, of course, brings Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa, as well as Santa Lucia Day and our Advent Garden, both beautiful celebrations of light from the Christian tradition, and the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, which pagan families commemorate in various ways. We enjoy Valentine’s Day in February with a special, formal tea in the Kindergarten and many families celebrate Easter, Passover, and/or the equinox in the spring. May 1 finds us enjoying a traditional Maypole celebration and dance.

The school year closes in June as it opens in September, with our emotional Rose Ceremony: at the start of the year, the 12th graders welcome the 1st graders with a rose, and on the last day of school, those same 1st graders, now older and much more confident than when the year began, say farewell to the graduating class by presenting each of them with a rose.

We anticipate these days of celebration all year long, and are grateful to be part of a community that stops to celebrate and mark the passage of time and nature’s rhythms as often as we can.

Our next big festival is this Saturday, October 20, and we invite you to join us: it’s our Annual Fall Fair, which is more than 30 years old and attracts about 3000 people from the tristate area to our campus.  You can read more here: www.gmws.org/fallfair.

Posted by vlarson on Tuesday October, 16, 2012 at 08:32PM

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