Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) was an Austrian social and spiritual thinker during the time when the New Thought Movement was in its early stages. He founded a spiritual movement known as Anthroposophy, as well as many practical arts including biodynamic agriculture, Eurythmy and Waldorf education.
In addition to introducing his new manifestations into an educational system, Steiner’s intention was to educate the whole child; to cultivate children’s physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual capacities so they would grow into confident individuals and be of service to the world.
Although there are numerous aspects that create the educational and social structures of the Waldorf school, one integral part is the celebration of seasonal festivals. Children of all ages, parents and friends gather to observe and celebrate the changing of the seasons, reminding them of the natural cycles of life, their interconnectedness with the earth and the importance of taking joy in the world in which they live.
As April showers pass with the wind and daffodils proudly raise their trumpets, Waldorf schools throughout the world make preparations for their annual May Faire. At the heart of this festival, a Maypole will stand tall with colorful ribbons attached to the top of it. After the grand entrance of the May Queen, dozens of children will offer beautiful, yet simplistic folk dances around the Maypole as the ribbons they hold get woven into an intricate pattern of pastels. Live music – perhaps flutes, violins and recorders – will fill the air with melodies of joy, laughter and springtime!
Simple celebrations like the May Faire bring together community in ways that are both reverent and delightful. Dancing around a Maypole isn’t the only way to celebrate the middle of spring when everything is in full bloom. In fact, we don’t have to celebrate anything at all. However, I must admit my soul savors those times I am in community with reverence and delight, no matter what the season or reason! Imagine welcoming every month in celebration with community!