(painting by Timothy Frantzich)
The celebration of festivals is an important part of Waldorf education. Festivals are a joyous celebration of life and put us in rhythm with the seasons. Michaelmas is the “festival of courage” celebrated on September 29th around the autumn equinox and is associated with the beginning of fall, harvest time and preparations for winter. The festival is named for St.Michael, known as the protector of humanity, who inspires qualities of courage, initiative and steadfastness. One favorite Michaelmas story is that of St George taming the dragon with the sword of justice and courage given to him by 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.”-Excerpt from “‘Waldorf Publications” newsletter
As the weather gets colder and the light recedes mother natures fruits and vegetables ripen for harvesting. Her gifts remind us to take a meditative look inward to help balance our internal light with the darkness of the season.
“Through celebrations in their seasons are the deeper powers of human nature realized” – Rudolf Steiner
Activities during this time-
*Look for Michaelmas Daisies (Asters)
*Learn Michaelmas songs or verses
Brave and True-recite while marching out the rhythm
Brave and true I will be
Each good deed sets me free
Each kind word maked me strong
I will fight for the right,
I will conquer the wrong.
*Make dragon bread
*Create a Michaelmas nature table
*Dye a cape from marigolds or goldenrod
*Read St. George and the Dragon
*Beeswax dragons-beeswax can be warmed and shaped by little hands
*Craft shooting stars
*Eat harvest foods
*Add things year by year