A Celebratory Welcoming Of The New Season At HVWS
Housatonic Valley Waldorf School students, faculty, and family members welcomed the changing of the seasons with the school’s annual Michaelmas festival in the drizzly afternoon of September 28.
Students completed an obstacle course set up by fifth grade students before the festivities began. Following the obstacle course, students ate “dragon bread” made by parent volunteers.
Each year, the festival honors St Michael, a mythical dragon-slayer who bears a mighty iron sword, according to the school. St Michael’s legend symbolizes the autumnal resurgence of human strength, willpower, and striving to overcome the inner dragons of laziness, greed, doubt, fear of the future, and forgetfulness.
The festival typically includes singing, a game, and a play. This year, the game was postponed due to the weather. For the game, students face off as “dragons” and gemstone collectors.
Fifth grade teacher Laura Hayes organized the festival this year, and she welcomed everyone to the celebration. She noted the gathered community members were “challenged” by the weather, but they would work together to warm up from within.
After Ms Hayes introduced everyone to the festival, ringing chimes punctuated the air as students played musical instruments. Many students wore boots and raincoats, and they looked out from under hoods as they walked by the assembled crowd while gently striking their instruments.
To close the festival, students sang songs and participated in a traditional play, which shared the story of how St Michael defeats a dragon. Fourth grade teacher Leslie Lew directed the play.
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