The Tale of Michaelmas

Shining Mountain Waldorf School, in the tradition of Waldorf schools world wide, has a long standing, rich festival life. One of the most beloved festivals is Michaelmas, the celebration of the Festival of St. Michael. As the days become shorter and the autumn months unfold, we call on our Michaelic courage to meet the darker days and places in ourselves symbolized by the dragon.

As at many Waldorf schools, Shining Mountain celebrates the harvest festival of Michaelmas during the autumnal equinox. The Michaelmas festival reminds us to honor the courage that we see around us every day in noble acts, large and small.  The courage to stand up for someone who struggles, or to look for the good in others, or to strive for something more.

On the day of the festival, the lower grades process to the Festival Hall for an assembly, followed by the Michaelmas pageant and games for 1st to 8th Grades.  The Michaelmas festival also includes a community potluck and a school-wide food drive for local social service agencies.

Kindergarten students will celebrate Michaelmas with their own separate festival day.  The Kindergarten teachers will give the kindergarten families the specifics, but usually on festival days there is a late start, then the festival, then a shared potluck with the class.  There is no Rainbow Garden on kindergarten festival days.

St. Michael beckons with his hand,
To follow him through Autumn’s land.
Heart’s sun to seek, to give us light
To guide our way into the night.

D. Harris, “Autumn”