Michaelmas in Waldorf Schools September 29 2020

Every now and then after the school year gets underway and the Michaelmas buzz begins in the classrooms, I hear a Waldorf parent or two whisper "what is Michaelmas?" It's a question I hear frequently and one that I love to answer!

Whistler Waldorf School Chalkboard Drawing by Grade Two teacher, Ms. Reynolds.

September 29, midway between the northern hemisphere's summer and winter solstices, the ancient festival of Michaelmas is celebrated.As summer's warmth fades, and the cool crispness of autumn falls upon us, mother nature's fruits and vegetables ripen for harvesting. Her gifts help sustain us through the dark cold days of winter and remind us to summon our own gifts and inner strength to help balance our internal light with the darkness of the season.

Stories of good versus evil or light versus dark are often told to illuminate the balance of light and dark that we all must strive towards mastering. One favorite Michaelmas story is that of St. George taming the dragon with the sword of justice and courage given to him by the Archangel St. Michael. St. George is an earthly representation of Michael. The dragon, eating up livestock and children in a village, is much like our own greedy, envious, darker side.

A celebration of strength and courage, of facing dragons both internal and external. Michaelmas is a great time to ponder our own inner dragons and to cultivate the courage and strength necessary for self development.

Michaelmas Verse

Brave and True
Brave and true I will be
Each good deed will set me free.
Each kind word makes me strong.
I will fight for the right,
I will conquer the wrong.

Some things your child may create during Michaelmas:
dragon bread
marigold dyed silk capes
wooden sword or shield


Enjoy these brisk weeks of Autumn!

The beautiful chalkboard drawing is from Whistler Waldorf School's own Grade Two teacher, Ms. Reynolds!