Earlier this month, the students, faculty and administration – joined by parents, grandparents, family and friends – gathered together to celebrate Michaelmas.
A little-known festival, Michaelmas is observed at Waldorf Schools across the globe and celebrates St. Michael, the protector of humanity, who according to fifth century tradition, in battle tames a dragon to save the kingdom. Because the celebration falls near the equinox, it is often associated with the beginning of autumn and the shortening of days.
In keeping with tradition, this year’s Michaelmas celebration took place in Seacoast Waldorf School’s playgrounds and outdoor spaces and began with the grade school children and teachers reciting verses and singing as the nursery, preschool and kindergarten children and their families looked on. The stories and verse contained themes of courage, light conquering dark, inner strength, and deeds of goodness.
Families, students and faculty then gathered at picnic tables for a delicious outdoor feast of soup (made by the children), corn bread, cider and apple crisp and time together enjoying the beautiful sunny day before heading indoors to tour the children’s classrooms.
The Michaelmas festival reminds us to both summon and honor the courage displayed each and every day – in noble acts big and strong. It reminds us to be a champion for others, to look for the good in all and to always strive toward our fullest human potential.