Throughout the year, our school celebrates festivals to connect us with the cycle of nature, establish a yearly rhythm for the children, and strengthen our community. The first festival celebrated during the school year is Michaelmas. This festival inspires us to courageously conquer our dragons—both internal and external—as we prepare for the winter ahead.
The Meaning of Michaelmas
In our school, two different pictures are brought before the children at Michaelmas time. One is the image of the autumn harvest, and the other is the image of the saint who tames the dragon.
At harvest time, human beings traditionally gather and store food so that they can survive the winter season ahead. In modern times, despite the fact that our grocery stores will provide us with an abundance of food throughout the coming months, we still have a natural instinct to prepare for the time when nothing will grow outside. We put our gardens to bed, insulate our homes, pull out our sweaters and mittens, and make sure our cars are in good condition to weather the colder months. Inside ourselves, we also take inventory of what is needed to face the short days and long nights that lie between the fall and spring equinox. Are we ready? Do we have the inner resources to nurture ourselves and our families through the coming cold and darkness? We begin to gather our strength.
The image of St. George taming the dragon represents our inner courage to face our known and unknown fears. As the days grow shorter, can our inner light shine brighter? Can we tame the dragons of uncertainty, fear, and doubt that may arise when we are no longer nurtured by the sun, warmth, and abundant growth of the earth? St. Michael holds up his sword, representing courage, truth, and fortitude. Together with St. Michael we summon our strength and determination to champion the good and the true and to nurture the inner light that will allow us to face what lies ahead.
Grades Michaelmas Festival
Throughout Michaelmas week, grades students participate in activities that represent courage, initiative, and steadfastness. From chopping vegetables and preparing soup, to harvesting apples, to baking bread and apple crisp, to planning and building an obstacle course – each class has their own unique and important role in the celebration.
Michaelmas Pageant | Fair Oaks Park
Friday, September 30, 1:30 pm
Our Michaelmas Festival culminates with the grades pageant in Fair Oaks Park on Friday, September 30. All families are invited to join as grades students take part in the Michaelmas play, Saint George and the Dragon. And don’t forget to wear red—the color of courage!
Early Childhood Harvest Festival
Our preschool and kindergarten students celebrate Michaelmas with a Harvest Festival. The children are engaged in classroom activities such as grinding grain, planting bulbs, dyeing silk, and making harvest soup. Mother Earth pays a visit to the children during this festival. The Early Childhood Harvest Festival is for the children only, but we invite parents and families to join us for our Early Childhood Harvest Festival Potluck on Saturday, October 1, from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm. More details to come soon from your class teacher!