A Brief Round of our Festival Year
Michaelmas Harvest Festival
Michaelmas is a festival of courage as we take our lead from the brave knights that are led by the archangel Michael. It is also our harvest festival. We invite parents to join us at the end of the Kindergarten morning for a harvest feast. This will be around 29th September, the feast of St Michael. Parents and children are invited to wear autumn colours and bring autumnal foliage or flowers for decorating the festival table.
Martinmas Lantern Walk
Our lantern walk is held around 11th November and reflects the festivals of light celebrated in many different traditions and cultures around the world. Children will have made their lanterns leading up to the festival and we invite parents to join us in the late afternoon just as the light fades to carry our lantern light around the Kindergarten gardens, the orchard and the school grounds.
To mark the beginning of the 4 weeks leading up to Christmas and light up the darkest time leading up to Midwinter we invite children and their families to a silent candlelight ceremony. The Advent Spiral takes place late on a Sunday afternoon just before nightfall in one of the Kindergartens. Children and parents are invited to wear blue for this festival.
Following on from Christmas we return after our Winter break to celebrate the arrival of the 3 Kings on 6th January. In Kindergarten this festival period lasts for about 3 weeks, during which time we do our 3-Kings ring time on most days. At the end of this time there may be a small celebration with the children in their individual Kindergarten.
On 2nd February we celebrate the mid-point between Midwinter and the Spring Equinox and the first signs of spring. The days are now getting longer and the snowdrops are out. Just like the snow drops we invite the children to wear white and green on this festival day and bring a bunch of snowdrops. We warm up the earth with hand-dipped beeswax candles or earth candles to help the bulbs to grow.
We celebrate the arrival of Spring on the last day of the Spring term, just before we go off on our Easter break. This festival is held with the children only. They wear yellow and green and bring Spring flowers to decorate the festival table.
This is very much a community festival with lots of flowers and maypole dancing. Parent volunteers set up the Kindergarten orchard during the morning and at the end of the morning children and their families gather around the maypole. Everyone is invited to wear bright spring colours and we need children to bring in lots of flowers in the morning.
In our Kindergarten the themes of this festival are the white dove (as a symbol of the connection between the spiritual and physical world), the daisy with her heart of gold and exploring different languages. Whitsun is all about kindness, connection and communication. The children come to Kindergarten wearing white and bringing white flowers for the festival table. White food is eaten at snack time.
St John’s Midsummer Festival
We celebrate Midsummer with a fire ceremony which includes a dance around the fire. Afterwards we play games in the garden. Food and drink stalls are also part of this festival. Parents help with manning the stalls and games as well as with providing food and drink. Parent volunteers set up the orchard, the games and the stalls during the Kindergarten morning. All families are invited to join us for the fire ceremony and games at the end of the morning. Reds and oranges are the colours for this festival and children bring in flowers to decorate the entrance to the orchard.
End of term festivals
We invite parents for end-of-term festivals before the Christmas break and before the Summer holidays. There is no need to bring anything or wear special colours for these festivals unless your child's teacher requests this.