Celebrating Fall :: Day 2 :: Michaelmas

I had been wanting to celebrate Michaelmas with the kids since I first read about it, thinking it would be a great fit for The Boy, who has always had a passion for all things knightly.  Since I learned my lesson to not try to cram it all into one day like I did with Candlemas, I planned on a week’s worth of activities leading up to Michaelmas, but we were ill yet again, so all those plans went out the back door.  I ended up keeping it pretty simple.

In the afternoon, I helped the kids dye some old playsilks in a bath of boiling water and ground turmeric.  I was pleasantly surprised at how much they enjoyed it.

While the playsilks dried in the wind, we had a simple picnic dinner in our backyard, relishing the cooler weather at last.  After dinner, we laid on a blanket in the backyard and I read this delightful story of St. Michael by a Waldorf kindergarten teacher.  I then read Saint George and the Dragon, by Margaret Hodges and Trina Schart Hyman, which has been a favorite in our home for many years.  If you have never seen it, the text is an adaptation of The Faerie Queen by Edward Spencer, and it is just about as perfect as a children’s book can get.  We love it.

After we read our stories, I tied the silks into capes, and presented them to the children with the words from the St. Michael story, “I give to you a cape of light, to give you courage, strength and might.”

I never expected what came next, but the story and cape resonated so strongly with The Boy that he went and changed into a yellow shirt and donned a sword, scabbard, shield and gold helmet, and called himself The Gold Knight. The game went on for the rest of the evening and through the next day.

What I am starting to learn about with the Waldorf Festivals is that it’s not too important to explain why we celebrate, but to celebrate anyway, and let it resonate however it will.  As an adult, I suppose that the symbolism of “taming your dragons” before the long winter is important this time of year when the days get shorter and cooler, and we begin to feel the pull to withdraw inward.  I didn’t over-think it or over-explain it, I just kept it short and sweet, and age-appropriate and it worked.

6 Responses to “Celebrating Fall :: Day 2 :: Michaelmas”

  1. The SwedeLife writes:

    Oooooh, so lovely. Now that is a successful celebration day. Simple, rich with meaning, and enjoyed by all….

  2. saraelise writes:

    I just found your blog and love it. So nice to see another Floridian. It looks like you had a splendid celebration. :)

  3. MamaBird writes:

    Sounds about as perfect as it could possibly be! Fantastic!

  4. kate writes:

    fabulous. just fabulous… i have a boy just aching for a knightly cape, maybe two boys… :)

  5. Martinmas | The Laughing Monkey writes:

    […] we did with Michaelmas, we kept the celebration simple, and once again it worked perfectly. Before we set out for our […]

  6. michaelmas :: days 1 and 2 | The Laughing Monkey writes:

    […] can see our first celebration here. Last year’s celebration fizzled out after The Boy expressed deep outrage over all of the […]

Leave a Reply