Festival and Faires
Nevada Sage Waldorf School holds festivals and faires as a joyous celebration of the rhythms of the year and cycles of nature. Our rich festival life has the quality of lifting us out of the ordinary, and offers a way of sustaining and renewing ourselves. Through these festivals we cultivate and strengthen our community, while establishing a yearly rhythm for the children. We celebrate the elements of festival—light, food, song, and story— in ways that foster wonder, reverence and gratitude.
In the autumn, Michaelmas (pronounced Mick-el-mas) helps us celebrate the harvest. Michaelmas, September 29th, is an ancient festival that inspires inner courage during a time when the outer world is growing darker. Our faculty holds a puppet show for the school community, which is followed by a potluck. The central image in the puppet show is Michael who embodies courage, initiative and steadfastness to overcoming a dragon. Through this we kindle our own inner strength, as the season transitions from the outer warmth of summer to the coolness of fall. This festival takes place near the autumnal equinox when the days grow short. We turn inwards, towards ourselves and our community for inner warmth.
Our annual Harvest Festival reflects the bounty of autumn. Children are filled with delight as they visit different booths for a special story from a blacksmith, a wool spinner, Mother Earth, the Sugar Sprite, and many more. Each child is given a special treat – an acorn, seeds, yarn – following each story. There is also face painting and activities. This festival is hosted by our Parent Council, with families contributing to create this special day for our children. We invite families, friends, and the Truckee Meadows’ community to enjoy this festival.
Each November, a Lantern Walk is held commemorating St. Martin’s Day or Martinmas, a festival of inner light in the outer darkness of the approaching winter. The children make their own lanterns which are symbols of their own individual light. On a cold, dark evening, children gather along with their families and teachers to walk and sing under the stars with their glimmering lanterns held high. Children carefully carry their lanterns in a mood of quiet reverence. Following the walk, everyone is greeted by a warm fire and a story told by a faculty member.
In this reverent and beautiful ceremony of light, one by one children walk along a spiral path of evergreens. At the center, they light a candle then place it on a golden star on the floor before walking out of the spiral. Slowly the darkened hall becomes illuminated with candle light as the children quietly participate and watch. The evening is quiet and moving. With the winter days being short, and the nights long, this festival celebrates a kindling of our inner light, and holds a promise that spring, light, and life will begin again.
This festival welcomes the return of spring – the rebirth and growth of new plant life, the lengthening of the day light hours, and the strengthening force of the sun. To enjoy is an array of live musical performances, children’s crafts and games, as well as local artisans and vendors, food and drink. Children enjoy a puppet show, flower crown making, and face painting. The day is highlighted with a traditional May Pole dance performed by our 1st and 2nd graders. It is one of our biggest community events of the year and everyone is welcome to join in the fun.