Festivals & Celebrations

At the Eugene Waldorf School, commemorating cultural celebrations that are a reflection of nature’s rhythms, important transitions, and significant moments can be seen throughout our school. Legends, stories, cooking, singing, and contributions from indigenous and practicing community members are ways that teachers and students explore these celebrations through the curriculum. Some celebrations that are shared at our school include (and are not limited to): The Lunar New Year; Sukkot; Indigenous People’s Day; Diwali; Hanukkah; and Martin Luther King Junior Day. 

Additionally, the school community celebrates the traditions of Michaelmas, Martinmas, and Dia de Los Muertos during the fall term, and the Spiral of Light in December. These traditional celebrations and our larger community festivals, Winter Light Celebration and May Day, are celebrated in ways that foster wonder, reverence, and gratitude in the participants. Family members are also encouraged to speak to their class teacher if they would like to make contributions to share family stories and/or cultural celebrations with the class.

 

 

Autumn

Michaelmas

As the season transitions from the outer warmth of summer to the coolness of fall, we look inwards towards ourselves and outwards to our community for inner warmth. Michaelmas reminds us of the confidence and courage that exists in all of us, to find the renewed desire and strength to live our lives to the best of our abilities and become a true community of human beings. In the Celtic tradition, Michael represents the unconquered hero and is a model for valor and courage. We celebrate Michaelmas, around the time of the fall equinox, with a play about Hero George taming the dragon, baking dragon bread, eating harvest foods, and hearing the children sing songs.

Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead)

Dia de Los Muertos, the “Day of the Dead”, is a holiday celebrated throughout Latin America that celebrates welcoming the souls of the dead back to earth to reunite with their loved ones for a few brief days. During Spanish classes for 1st – 8th grade, the students will help to create a unique ofrenda with their Spanish teacher that will reverently be displayed during this celebration. The ofrenda includes photos, drawings, mementos, and marigolds. Paper Picado, decorative paper cut-outs, are created and hung throughout the hallways to invite a feeling of celebration, and sugar skulls are decorated and placed on the ofrenda.

Martinmas

In early November, Eugene Waldorf’s younger children celebrate Martinmas, by participating in a Lantern Walk. The children make their lanterns at school and then gather with parents and teachers to take a special walk, singing the songs they have learned. Lanterns are held high, symbolizing for each child that they have their individual light. A story is told, before they walk into the cold and dark evening, about recognizing “the light” of others as well as the light in yourself. The Lantern Walk gives the children the experience of caring and sharing with others as the darkness of winter approaches. Traditionally this time of year, the students and family members are invited to participate in a coat drive and to extend a gift of warmth.

   Winter

Spiral of Light

As winter approaches, the children often feel a sense of quiet anticipation about the snowy season to come. They will enter into this season by taking a contemplative candlelit journey through the Spiral of Light. Each early childhood and grades student makes their journey through the spiral of evergreens to the center of the garden. Once there, they light a candle and then place it in the spiral pathway as they slowly make their reflective journey out again. This is a reminder of the light that remains in us, as we journey through the cold winter ahead.

Winter Light Celebration

The annual Winter Light celebration is one of the highlights of the year for the school community. The array of music, crafts, and magical scenes make this an extraordinary event for students and their families. Workshops are held to learn Waldorf crafts, such as candle dipping, wreath making, and likely a friendly cross-saw competition! Winter Light Fair merchants provide options for gifts, decor, food, and drinks. Musical performances take place throughout the celebration and are enjoyed by all. Friendships are made at this festival, new skills are discovered, and the social life of the school community is fostered.

   Spring

May Day

During the first weekend in May, families from the Eugene Waldorf School are invited to gather on the school grounds in celebration of May Day also known as Beltane. During this celebration of springtime, EWS will be decorated with bountiful fresh flowers, students and their families will come together to create flower crowns, watch Maypole dancing, and enjoy picnicking while listening to music.

 

*Please note that as we continue to maneuver the health protocols with Covid-19, the Winter Light celebration and events with the community are temporarily on hold. We hope to be able to share a May Day celebration with EWS students and their families in the springtime.