Housatonic Valley Waldorf School hosted its annual Michaelmas on Friday, September 27. This year marked the school’s 20th anniversary of celebrating its play.
According to the Housatonic Valley Waldorf School, the Michaelmas Festival is done every September to honor St Michael, an iron sword-bearing mythical dragon-slayer. The school explains that Michael’s legend symbolizes autumn resurgence and striving to overcome inner dragons like doubt, greed, laziness, and fears for the future.
The legend says humanity must stand up against the negativity the dragon represents and shine light into the darkness of wintertime.
Prior to the play, the festival offered multiple events, which included an on site blacksmith to teach the children lessons, an obstacle course, and a Michaelmas game.
There was also the new metal instrument walk led by one of the school’s music instructors, Diane Barnes. The walk featured students in third grade and above walking around the outside perimeter of the school. The teachers asked parents and other attendees to silence cellphones in order to listen quietly to the students as they played their instruments while walking.
After the instrument walk, the sixth and seventh grade choir sang a traditional song for Michaelmas. When the song was complete the school’s faculty came together to sing another song.
Then came the Michaelmas Festival’s main event: the Michaelmas play. The play included the first graders dressed up as gnomes, the second graders as meteors, the third graders together as the dragon, the fourth graders dressed in red as St Michael, the fifth graders as villagers and lastly, the sixth and seventh graders were the recorder ensemble.
The school’s fifth grade teacher, Amalia Pretel-Gray, was in charge of the festival and helped out actively in the play.