Michaelmas is one of the first school year festivals in the waldorf world. We started our journey at a Waldorf charter school and called the festival “Dragon Day” so we still often refer to it as such.
Michaelmas takes place around the autumn equinox or autumn harvest. This year it takes place on September 29. Traditionally it is a celebration of St. George calling on the arch angel Saint Michael for the courage to conquer the dragon and save his brethren. It also speaks to the autumn harvest and the coming of shorter, colder days. Waldorf education got its start in Germany where the winter is quite strong. This is the first of many festivals that speaks to finding the strength to face it. Just as many fables and fairy tales can be applied to the situations of various people, so can our tale of St. George, Michael, and the dragon.
We view Michaelmas as a time to face and fight our own dragons. We look inside to find the courage that lives in each one of us and to stand up to the things that we find frightening. There are times in our lives when we must stand for what’s right and fight against wrong. There are times when this fight is really scary. There are times when we won’t want to fight. There are times it seems impossible. There are even times in our lives when we must fight this fight alone. We continue on though, knowing our friends and our family are still there cheering us on- just as we are with them and their own battles.
The festival begins with a play or story of Saint George, the dragon, and Michael. It is followed by several feats of courage! This year we will run through the jaws of the dragon, hop across the lava lands from stump to stump, face the coming night, and traverse a fallen tree in the forest of the dragon.
Each feat faced will earn the squires an honorary badge followed by a knighting ceremony at the end. A celebratory feast provided by you in the form of a picnic will take place on the battle field following the victories.
Our Festival will take place Tuesday, September 29 at 10am in Escondido CA. Please dress for outside weather in active play clothes. Pack a picnic lunch for your family with a picnic blanket. We will possibly be having a sno-cone machine with simple fruit puree/syrup. If you have any allergies you are welcome to bring your own topping or treat.
A water refill station will be made available.
As this is our first Festival at the ranch, I’m unsure how long the activities will take. I am planning to be enjoying the picnic and open craft time around noon.
Mask/social distancing is neither required or shunned. Please dress/space yourself and your family however you are comfortable.