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Michaelmas: A Festival Of Courage


Please join us for our annual Michaelmas celebration. Our Dragon Play will start at 12:50 to be followed by a Michaelmas feast and feats of courage for students in grades 1-7.

Community members are warmly invited to join us in tending the Michaelmas fire from the start of our school day until the play begins

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 as we remember our dear former
colleague, Lauri Pierce, who passed away in August of 2022 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
12:50-1:10-Michaelmas Play
1:10-2:00-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 & 7: 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 29th, please bring a loaf of sliced
bread. Please include some gluten-free loaves as well!

Grades 2 & 5: In the morning on Friday, September 29th, please bring sliced cheese.

Grade 6: In the morning on Friday, September 29th, please bring 1 pan of apple crisp,
9×13” 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

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

During the play, the first graders will be bakers, the second graders will be millers, the
third graders are reapers, and the fourth and fifth graders help to forge George’s sword.
Sixth grade will be the villagers and seventh graders will embody the dragon!
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.