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Michaelmas Festival

Michaelmas Festival
Grades 1 – 8
Friday, September 30th, 2022

Autumn brings a new feeling to the earth; the glorious colors and abundance of harvest gives way to the more subtle and inward tones of winter. In our own lives we experience that same turning inward as we move from the exuberant and outward-focused activities of the summer season into a more contemplative mood. While summer demands our physical energy, winter calls for inner strength to make through the long, cold months.  Historically, as autumn approached, our ancestors in the Northern Hemisphere experienced the very real fear that they may not survive the winter. They therefore told stories of courage and compassion to bolster themselves to be brave during the bare winter months. Many traditions from around the world have stories of bravery such as these. Traditionally, MWS has re-enacted the story of George and the Dragon at our Michaelmas Festival to remind ourselves, as our ancestors did, to have courage when the world is dark and all seems lost. The dragon represents fear and the challenges we face within ourselves; George and Michael represent the strength, courage, and compassion needed to overcome our fears and challenges. 

The way we celebrate Michaelmas-specifically the play, but really the flow of the entire day- is a tradition unique to MWS. The play we perform as a grades community was written by teachers at MWS more than thirty years ago. In fact, when we bought the land we now call our home, the very first community event here was the Michaelmas festival, way back in 2000. As the years have passed, other teachers have added and edited this living document until we arrive at our current version. Our celebration of Michaelmas feels especially poignant this year as we remember our dear former colleague, Lauri Pierce, who passed away in August after a long battle with cancer. Lauri led the ensemble program, took several classes through the grades, and worked in enrollment at MWS for many years. She also wrote parts of the Michaelmas play, and composed many of the Michaelmas songs we enjoy to this day. A favorite Michaelmas song, “ Oh Me, Oh My A Dragon I Spy!” was written by Lauri. Therefore, when we sing and celebrate together, we honor the memory of Lauri,  who gave so much of herself to our school. 

Along with the play, the students will participate in a day full of activities including work time in the morning, caring and beautifying our outside spaces, a feast with family and friends, and grades-wide games led by Mr. Harris. Below is an approximate schedule for the day. 

Schedule of the Day

8:30-11:30-Main Lesson, Snack and Recess

11:30-12:30-Work Time

12:45-1:00-Michaelmas Play

1:00-2:00-Michaelmas Feast


Please Bring Food to Share for the Feast!
The feast is a very exciting part of our Michaelmas Festival! Please send the following food items with your student(s). If you have questions, please reach out to your student’s class teacher. No nuts, please!

Grade 1 & 8: In the morning on Wednesday, September 28th, please bring a small bag of vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, onions, celery, tomatoes, rutabagas and other root vegetables. Any fresh herbs, in addition to vegetables, would be welcome and much appreciated. 

Grades 3 & 4: In the morning on Friday, September 30th, please bring a loaf of sliced bread. Please include some gluten-free loaves as well!

Grades 2 & 5: In the morning on Friday, September 30th, please bring sliced cheese. 

Grade 6: In the morning on Friday, September 30th, please bring 1 pan of apple crisp, 9 x 13” or similar. Use your favorite recipe! No nuts, please!
All grades students should bring a plate, bowl, and utensils

What to Wear
Please have your student(s) wear their MWS class shirt on Michaelmas. If you have not received your class shirt, please contact our Outreach Team at outreach@mnwaldorf.org

Michaelmas is a day of work and play, so students should wear comfortable clothes that can withstand wear and are appropriate for the weather. 

Parents, families, friends, and well-supervised siblings are welcome to come, particularly for the play and the feast. Please bring a picnic blanket and a bowl, plate, and utensils.