Dear <<First Name>>,
Throughout the year in Waldorf schools, we celebrate festivals to connect us with the cycles of nature, establish a yearly rhythm for the children, and strengthen our community. Many festivals celebrated in our school originated in ancient cultures and have been adapted over time. Festivals help us to nourish our souls through the sharing of stories, food, songs and activities linked to the seasons and expressed with beauty and reverence.
Although Advent is traditionally known as a Christian festival encompassing the four Sundays before Christmas, pre-Christian peoples who lived far north and who suffered the loss of life and light with the disappearance of the sun also had ways of wooing back life and hope. In Waldorf schools, the Advent festival invites us to be vulnerable to our longing and open to our hope. In December the days grow noticeably shorter, the cold winter nights approach their longest, and we all begin to yearn for the light.
In our High School, students and faculty light a candle and sing traditional carols together. In the Grade School, there is a festive assembly every Monday morning with song, stories, and an Advent Spiral. Children in Parent & Tot, Preschool, Kindergarten and Grades 1 – 3 will also celebrate with their families through a special Advent Spiral ceremony on Sunday, December 1.
During the Advent Spiral, a path is laid of green boughs of evergreens and stars of gold card shine inside the path. A single candle in the center of the spiral lights the room. Peaceful music sets the mood as, one at a time, the children walk the path of the spiral. They light their own candle from the center candle and on the journey back, they place their candle in their apple upon a gold star. When all the children have walked the path, the whole spiral is aglow with beautiful light – the promise of the light, and a symbol of the divine light within each of us.