In ancient cultures, festivals were an integral part of community life marking the changes of the seasons and the calendar year. A rich festival culture is one of the central features of Waldorf School life. As an integral part of the curriculum, festivals serve to cultivate in our students an appreciation of the seasons, to form a sense of annual rhythm, and to bring us together as a school community. There is as much joy in the preparation and the anticipation of a festival, as there is in the participation in it
Some of our festivals are also key fundraising events, notably, Halloween Whispers in the fall, The Holly and Ivy Fair in the winter, and Mayfair in the spring. Parent volunteers are vital to the success of these events. Longstanding parents and new parents alike work side by side, guided by the School Development Coordinator and Class Teachers, to organize and orchestrate the day, infusing the gathering with spirited energy and productive goodwill, while building authentic relationships.
Our festivals draw inspiration from the land around us and are rooted in developing the necessary understanding between people and place. Seen as a whole, these festivals give us a chance to be nourished by the joys of being a community as we work on campus together, dance, share food, and raise our voices in song.
Events for 2022-2023
Click on the toggle for each event for details.
Wednesday, September 7, 2022 – 9:00am
“In Waldorf schools effort is made to observe significant moments in childhood and to celebrate these with rituals that have meaning for children. The Rose Ceremony in Waldorf schools around the world has a long tradition reaching back to the very first Waldorf school.”
The Rose Ceremony happens twice each year: on the first day of school and on the last day of school. The ceremony at the school’s beginning is designed to mark a new phase of the young child’s development. Leaving kindergarten and entering Grade 1 is an enormous shift for children.
Our celebration begins with the Grade 1 teacher welcoming the parents with a verse that reminds us and the children of our goals for education.
“To wonder at beauty, Stand guard over truth, Look up to the noble, Resolve on the good; This leads us truly To purpose in living, To right in our doing, To peace in our feeling, To light in our thinking. And teaches us trust In the workings of God*. In all that there is, in the widths of the world, in the depths of the soul.”
By Rudolf Steiner
*As a small footnote, the word God is defined by each individual’s thoughts and personal faith.
The new Grade 1’s, who have been waiting in the Robin’s Nest Kindergarten, are now led to the front of the Assembly Hall and they are seated in front of their new teacher. Every year the Grade 1 teacher creates a story specifically for this group of children to mark this wonderful new beginning.
The eldest students in the school play a major role in welcoming the youngest children. These students are paired up with a new 1st Grader, and at the end of the grade 1 teacher’s story, they gift each Grade 1 student with a rose. The Grade 1’s then travel through an arch holding their roses and are led to their new classroom by their new teacher. The roses are placed in a vase, which is waiting on the teachers desk and will decorate the classroom for the day. At the end of the day, each child takes a rose home.
“In a culture that has smoothed over the seasons, the months, the weeks and days of the week so that all things are possible all the time and one rarely need wait for anything, these rituals mean a great deal to the young. They make lines that, once crossed, change the world, as the children know it. The flower ceremonies celebrate and commemorate simultaneously. The giving and receiving of flowers, of roses, give grace and beauty to a child’s growth and acknowledge that every child is valuable, worthy to be
Thursday, September 29, 2022 – 2:30 pm
As the days grow shorter and darkness encroaches, we celebrate Saint George, who with his sword of cosmic iron, truth, and light is the conqueror of the dragon. Stories, songs, and verses of courage shine their way into our Michaelmas pageant.
Friday, October 28, 2022, 5pm
In ancient times it was thought that the transition between autumn and winter was a time when the elemental forces, which had sprung out during spring-time, now came back to Earth. However, those not spiritually renewed must be coaxed or even driven back into Earth. The magical rites the Druids practised at this time of year gradually evolved into our Halloween. At school many jack-o’-lanterns are carved.
A magical evening celebration called Hallowe’en Whispers is organized by parents and teachers.
Originally inspired by All Souls Day in Mexico and acknowledging those who came before us, the students create short musical vignettes that are performed in different spots in the forest.
Parents, teachers and friends came together and shared delicious food, festive games and crafts and music. This wonderful celebration has evolved into a significant fundraiser for our school.
Wednesday, November 16, 2022 – 5:30 pm
A festival celebrating compassion and inner light in the outer darkness of approaching winter.
This festival invites us to follow the lantern light into the gathering darkness. As the dark nights become long and the air cold, our lanterns represent the light and warmth we wish to send into the world and carry in our hearts. This is one of our most beautiful, and reverent events. The mood is one cultivating an inner quiet.
T begin the evening, our Grade 2 class performs the tale of St. Martin. Our faculty will then lead us in singing together. We then make our quiet and reverent journey, with the youngest students and their teacher leading the way.
We end the evening by sharing hot apple cider and bread, then quietly making our way home. Many families find this festival becomes their favourite of the year.
Saturday, November 26, 2022
One of our two major fundraising events, Holly and Ivy Fair is an annual festival and celebration with games, craft activities, live music, amazing food, puppet show performances, a silent auction and a handmade market.
More detailed description to follow.
In ancient traditions, Mayfair was the celebration of the beginning of summer; it was a festival of flowers. Mayfair is good, festive fun and a reminder that warmer days are ahead. Our school is festooned with decorations and we gather as a community to play games, make music and merriment. The day is graced by the children dancing the Maypole and by onlookers clapping and singing along.
Like our Holly and Ivy Fair, Mayfair is one of our major annual fundraising events. This festival offers a warm, festive atmosphere, many children’s activities, good food, and an annual plant sale along with a silent auction, puppet performance, live music and field games.