Having your child at a Waldorf school means becoming part of a community that celebrates the cycles of the year through a rich festival life.
Festivals help us to nourish our souls and deepen our connection to the earth and each other through the sharing of stories, food, songs and activities linked to the seasons and expressed with beauty and reverence. In addition to the community-wide festivals listed here, teachers celebrate other festivals in the classroom, including those connected to families in our community and different cultures being studied.
Each year on the first day of school, the incoming 1st grade class is welcomed into the school community with a Rose Ceremony. During this opening day assembly, the new 1st grade teacher and class are introduced to the school community and honored by our 8th grade teacher and students, welcoming each 1st grader with a rose. This celebration marks a reunion after the summer of our community and a grateful beginning of the new school year.
We welcome the entire East Bay community to our annual Harvest Faire every October. This community-wide festival celebrates the bounty of summer. This event is a treat for children of all ages and features games, crafts, live music, delicious food, puppet shows, and artisan vendors.
The Michaelmas Celebration
Around October 1st, the community comes together in a festival that mirrors many other cultures’ autumn festivals of self-reflection around the Harvest. Michaelmas is an ancient, pre-Christian festival that celebrates inner courage and balance, in the time when the outer world is growing darker. Known in many cultures and by many names throughout history, Michael, the Archangel, is the ruler of winds and waves and holds the balance that weighs our souls. The students present a play and the community enjoys a potluck on a beautiful autumn day.
On one night each year, near Halloween, the East Bay Waldorf School comes alive with magic. Only the bravest may pass through on the candlelit Wanderer’s Way. Children from the entire community join us for an enchanted evening of story telling, music, treats and magic. Fairy tales and nursery rhymes come to life to entertain and inspire. Who will you see along the pumpkin lit path? An antidote to the adultness of Halloween, we invite families to wander and enjoy!
In mid-November, our early childhood families mark the changing of the season to the dark winter with a traditional lantern walk in honor of St. Martin, a Roman soldier in the 4th century. According to legend, one wintry night he met a poor beggar, half-naked and freezing. Martin removed his heavy, warm, military cloak and, drawing his sword, cut it in two, and gave half to the beggar. Along with their parents and teachers, the children walk in the dark with their own handmade lantern, to shine their light in the darkness. Our older grades sponsor a coat drive for a local charitable organization.
Grandparents & Friends Day
This is a day when we open our doors and welcome parents, relatives, and friends to visit their students in their classes, and the school itself. Always a happy gathering, each grade presents an artistic work followed by lunch and refreshments.
Festival of Light
An old tradition of winter in many cultures of the world, we hold a much-loved Spiral of Light for the students and their families. In early December, as the sunlight nears its nadir, the human soul yearns for light. Inspired by Winter Solstice, Christmas, Hanukkah, Diwali and Loi Krathong, each class walks a magical, glowing path, creating light in the darkness. This festival is held in Waldorf schools around the world and marks the reverence and inner reflection inherent in dark times. We remind ourselves of the light that each of us, as individuals, can create in the world.
In May, when Spring has completely arrived and the roses are blooming, we celebrate the May Faire, with musicians, performances by our students, dancing around the Maypole, games, food, and the crowning of a May Queen, often one of our graduates who is now finishing high school. This event is open to everyone: families and friends within the community and beyond.