Michaelmas is a Festival celebrated in Waldorf Schools that celebrates bravery! Children participate in physical activities such as: balancing, tug of war, climbing, potato sack races and more. In traditional schools, this type of activity at school can be compared to a School Field Day.
See how our Early Childhood Campus celebration and our Grades Campus celebrated Michaelmas this year!
MICHAELMAS AT OUR EARLY CHILDHOOD CAMPUS:
MICHAELMAS AT OUR GRADES CAMPUS:
WHAT IS MICHAELMAS?
Here is a great explanation of what the Michaelmas (pronounced "Mickle-mas") celebration is about:
"Michaelmas, which began as an equinox and harvest festival in the Middle Ages, is also a feast to honor The archangel Michael or Mikail. Michael is an archangel in Judaism, Christianity and Islam and, in all traditions, he is a symbolic leader of the force of good over evil and courage over cowardice. The celebration of Michaelmas teaches the importance of overcoming fear and strengthening resolve.
Michaelmas falls near the autumn equinox, when the weather is rapidly changing, the days are noticeably shorter, and we feel a natural instinct to prepare for the colder months ahead. It marks the end of the harvest and the season when we feel the impulse to turn inward after the long, warm days of summer, and gather up strength and fortitude to face the colder days and long nights of the winter ahead.
Michaelmas is typically the first festival of the new school year celebrated in Waldorf schools. Themes of harvest and courage govern the preparations, games and activities of this festival, which culminates in a play performed by the grade school children. In the play, a destructive fiery dragon is tamed by the people of a town whose hearts are endowed with courage and enthusiasm by St. Michael. It is a story that parallels our own human challenges, illuminating the inner courage it takes to find and bring forth our own inward light when the sun, warmth and growth of the earth are fading. The story speaks to children in a deeply symbolic way, feeding their innate need for truth and justice.
Each student must face their own difficulties in life, both internal and external, and Michaelmas both educates and empowers the children to find the courage to take on and defeat their personal dragons. And so, we celebrate Michaelmas in the Waldorf tradition to remind ourselves of the strength we need in the coming season and in our personal lives to defeat darkness and let hope prevail."