Sunday, December 4, 2016

Waldorf Festivals {Michaelmas}

  This is our first year as a homeschool and our first year using the Waldorf curriculum, so we were very excited to celebrate the first festival, Michaelmas on September 29.  This feast commemorates the expulsion of Lucifer from heaven by the Archangel Michael.  This day has almost equal daylight and sunlight and marks the point when the northern hemisphere begins to tilt away from the sun.   As I understand it, the feast celebrates the idea of a renewal of light within yourself to prepare for the coming darkness of winter.

 St. George and the Dragon is used an allegory for the story of St. Michael throwing Lucifer from heaven, so many Waldorf schools make capes, swords and shields as well as bake dragon bread to celebrate.  Since Jack was a little ahead in his fourth grade block, he joined in the Michaelmas fun for the week (as did Sean).

  We made our capes with silk scarves and tie dye.  Using a natural dye from goldenrod seems like the more traditional way to go, but we took the practical suggestion from our Waldorf Essentials curriculum and bought a tie dye kit from Dharma Trading.  Naturally, we dyed some shirts while we were at it!

 To no one's suprise, making swords was a thrilling activity for all involved.  Since we didn't have a jigsaw to make wooden swords, we improvised with something we saw online.  Our swords are made by a small stick as a handle and a large stick secured by twine.  

 Our cardboard shields, adorned with painted dragons, completed our knightly ensembles.  This was around the point that the kids requested we do homeschool forever and never go back to school : )

  On the day of the festival we baked a dragon bread which we feasted on with chili and blackberry pie.  The legend says that when Lucifer fell to earth he landed in a blackberry bramble, making the berries turn sour, so you shouldn't eat them after Michaelmas.  After our feast the boys acted out the story of St. George.  I got to be the weeping princess sent as sacrifice to the horrible dragon.  A great time was had by all.  I think we are really going to enjoy the Waldorf festivals!

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