At Rudolf Steiner School, festivals play an essential role for the school community. Celebrating festivals brings a sense of rhythm and anticipation, and particularly for the young children, this is an important part of their growing up. Honoring festivals together is also a way of keeping time. Throughout history, festivals have been interwoven with life and the cycles of nature. In Waldorf schools, we too have found our own meaningful way to honor the seasons and their different qualities.
FESTIVALS, ASSEMBLIES AND EVENTS
The school year begins and concludes with the Rose Ceremony, giving a “full circle” experience through the welcoming and farewell roses exchanged between the First and Twelfth Graders. The Rose Ceremony marks a significant moment in time for our incoming and graduating students.
On September 29th, we celebrate Michaelmas, a festival dedicated to courage and good deeds. In spirit of the day, we have a tradition of providing service opportunities for the community..
The celebration of Martinmas comes on November 11th, with the beginning of the colder and darker days of autumn. St. Martin is remembered for sharing his warm cloak with a beggar. In this festival, the whole community cultivates empathy and the beauty of sharing: we collect winter coats to give to those less fortunate.
Rudolf Steiner School closes 78th street (between Madison & fifth avenues) on the first Saturday of October for a new version of its legendary Fall Fair. The whole community takes part in the preparations: in workshops parents and teachers knit, crochet and felt everything from baby clothes to animals and winter scarves; while in the doll workshop beautiful handmade dolls are created. During the Street Fair some classrooms are being transformed into a general store, candle dipping, Story time and more. This magical event attracts students, faculty, families, alumni, friends and the entire neighborhood.
Just before the Thanksgiving holiday we hold a school assembly, usually at All Soul’s Church on Lexington Avenue. Each class from Grade 1 through 12 offer their Thanks by presenting something they have worked on: a song, a poem, an orchestra piece, a speech.
This annual vocal concert in December, just before winter break, brings the community together to share holiday songs. Traditional and celebratory music from all cultures and countries are performed by the school’s Lower and Upper School Choruses and various grades. This gathering ushers in the Holidays in a joyful, inclusive event.
In January, we remember Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and celebrate his peaceful and passionate leadership towards equal existence for all beings. His memory fuels our commitment as individuals and in our communities to act with integrity and care. We honor Dr. King’s legacy in the middle and upper school with a series of events, including a talk; a 7th-9th grade assembly, film, and discussion; and a special High School Assembly.
Every year under the auspicious of a new animal, classes are involved in activities celebrating the arrival of the lunar new year. The previous day during Main Lesson, students tiClean out desks and cubbies thoroughly, take home old projects, and get rid of old energies. On Lunar New Year's Day they write blessings and hang them on a special tree. They spend some time discussing the nature of blessings and share about various new year traditions in numerous cultures.
The Spring Assembly, held on the last day of school before spring break, brings our community together to celebrate the arrival of Spring with songs, Eurythmy and musical performances. The Seniors usually prepare their own Eurythmy offering, as this is their last community performance before the Senior Play and graduation.
This annual concert in April presents talented musicians from all grades. We hear the Lower, Middle and High School Orchestras, Taiko Drumming, and the Jazz Band, who each offer various musical pieces – from classics to folk to big-band favorites from all over the world.
Waldorf School communities worldwide gather on May Day to celebrate the return of spring by making flower crowns and dancing around the Maypole. It is a lively and festive community celebration that involves music and dancing.
Parent Council organizes a three day all school book fair in late April with literature, picture books and almanacs for children of every age. A carefully curated selection of books is beautifully arranged for children and their parents.
As the most important fundraiser of the year, our Spring Gala is held every year in a spectacular New York City event space where parents, faculty and staff join together to celebrate the school’s mission. Dancing, great food and conversation and the silent and live auctions guarantee a highly festive evening for all.
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