The natural rhythms of nature and time can be found at the heart of Waldorf education. Through celebrations and observance of yearly rhythm at WSB we establish a firm foundation for our children, build and strengthen our community, and nourish our relationship with nature. In addition to the community-wide festivals listed here, teachers celebrate other festivals in the classroom, including those connected to the cultures being studied or the religious traditions of the students in the class.
Michaelmas closely follows the autumnal equinox and is celebrated with a school assembly. The students learn the story of St. Michael and the Dragon, which symbolizes our search for inner courage and strength needed to overcome the darkness of the coming winter.
Learn more about Michaelmas
End of October
Autumn Journey is a celebration of the human soul through the seasons. The school is transformed into magical realms, room by room, which invites the elements of the seasons to weave our story of transformation.
Learn more about Autumn Journey
Martinmas – St. Martins Day
Celebrated in early November
Based on the story of St. Martin of Tours, a Roman soldier who abandoned his position of high rank and wealth to devote his life to serving the poor, this festival invites us to follow the lantern light through the darkness of winter, joining with others who have chosen the path of compassion.
Our students celebrate with a lantern walk.The children make their own lanterns and gather with parents and teachers, then walk through the park in silent reverence to carry light into the approaching darkness of winter.
The older children shine their light by providing service to the community. This is done through the collection of winter clothing and other needed items for local shelters, visits to the elderly in our community, serving of soup at community kitchens, and also serving the cider at our school celebration. Other activities may be taken up by different classes.
Month of December
Each Monday morning in December, the entire school gathers together to sing.
We culminate the weeks of advent with a spiral of lights near the winter solstice, the darkest night of the year. See Below
Spiral of Lights
Spiral of Lights brings the spirit of Advent to the children in a simple way; it gives them an experience of moving from darkness to light. They walk to the center of a spiral path of evergreens: a path not lighted. They bring with them a red apple with a candle in it, which they light from the burning candle in the center of the spiral. They then place their candle down on the path to light the way as they walk back out. The festival begins in darkness and ends brightly lit by the many candles, lit by the community of children. There is time to sit in quiet reverence at the end of the ceremony.
St. Nicholas Day
On December 6, St. Nicholas surprises the lower grades with a treat. This is a European tradition in which Bishop Nicholas and his cohort Ruppert visit children. Golden nuts, oranges, and dates are left on the desks of each child. On the eve of December 5th, in many traditions, children place their shoes outside the door hoping St. Nicholas will leave a treat.
First week in May
The May Faire is a celebration of May Day, an ancient festival welcoming spring. It is one of our biggest community events of the year and takes place the first week in May on the playground at the school. The festivities begin with a dramatic skit where The Green Knight overcomes King Winter. Fresh flowers and crowns abound and maypole dances are performed by each of the classes. Food, music, games and crafts create a fun, festive environment for our entire community!
Fifth Grade Pentathlon
The pentathlon has a significant place in Waldorf education’s fifth grade Movement and Games curriculum. It is the culmination of a curriculum highlighting the ancient civilizations of Greece. They learn that the Olympics were an expression of the Golden Age.The stories and ancient history of Greece take the children into the imagination of the time period: physically, emotionally and mentally.
Learn more about the Pentathlon
As part of their history study the 6th graders experience a coming-of age knighting ceremony, and participate in a variety of thematically inspired games and challenges.This event in shrouded in mystery and very little is revealed to the children before they participate. During this event not only do they have to overcome their own fears and challenges, but they must also work socially with a group of children they do not know to overcome the tasks presented. Many teams may not finish the tasks at hand until they realize how to work with their teammates, a challenge for many sixth graders.
Friday Assemblies are another way WSB comes together in community. The various grades perform songs, verses and plays and it is a great opportunity to experience the curriculum unfolding.