Course: The Festivals and Their Meaning 2
The celebration of festivals is an important part of Waldorf/Steiner education. A festival is a joyous celebration of life, and has the quality of lifting us out of the ordinary and into the mysteries and magic of the rhythm of the seasons. Throughout history, festivals have emerged from people’s connection with their spiritual life and their search for the meaning of human existence. The celebrations are interwoven with the life of the earth and the cycles of nature. Many faith-based traditions recognize the spiritual realities behind different passages during the year, and that is why special observances cluster together on the calendar. In the Waldorf tradition, festivals are meant to reflect the spiritual reality of what is happening to the earth during important passages during the year. For example, we can experience the autumn in a natural way as we watch the colorful changing of the leaves, feel the crispness in the air, and taste the tartness of a newly picked apple. We can experience it also, in a spiritual way, if we begin to perceive the beauty around us. The awe of a special sunset can quicken a sense of reverence, stir us to voice a few poetic lines, or feel an inner peace. A common experience of joy and reverence is what allows a festival at a particular time of year to unite a whole community. Singing, dancing, stories, food and sharing are all a part of the festivals of the year.
The Waldorf/Steiner teacher should develop an inner appreciation and knowledge of the deep mysteries connected with the festivals. This inner experience of and reverence for the festivals can then flow outward into the celebration of the festivals with the children and the school community.
The Waldorf/Steiner teacher needs to become a guide to and guardian of the festivals. The inner joy that we can experience when we approach the festivals and their celebration with a devotional attitude can spread outwards and inspire others: the children, colleagues, and the whole the school community.
The Festivals and Their Meaning 1
Lesson 1: Michaelmas (Part 1)
Lesson 2: Michaelmas (Part 2)
Lesson 3: Christmas (Part 1)
Lesson 4: Christmas (Part 2)
Lesson 5: Reflection and Final Paper/Festivals and Their Meaning 1
The Festivals and Their Meaning 2
Lesson 1: Easter (Part 1)
Lesson 2: Easter (Part 2)
Lesson 3: Ascension and Pentecost (Part 1)
Lesson 4: Ascension and Pentecost (Part 2)
Lesson 5: Reflection and Final Paper/Festivals and Their Meaning 2
Tasks and Assignments for The Festivals and Their Meaning 2 Lesson 5
In order to complete the course The Festivals and Their Meaning 1, please create a Research Paper/Final Paper. The subject of the research paper/final paper should concern the theme of festivals. You may choose a specific festival, several festivals, a specific culture and their festivals, a specific theme (for instance puppetry and festivals), or another theme related to festivals and their meaning.
Please see the following for guidelines for the research paper/final paper that is required for your course of study. We believe it is best to choose a subject that is of great interest to you and where you have resources available.
Guidelines for Writing a Scientific (Scholarly) Paper: An effective scientific paper should be at a minimum 9 pages, include genuine research and should be presented in the format outlined here.
Chanukkah, the Jewish festival of rededication, also known as the festival of lights, is an eight day festival beginning on the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev. Chanukkah is probably one of the best known Jewish holidays, not because of any great religious significance, but because of its proximity to Christmas. Many non-Jews (and even many assimilated Jews!) think of this holiday as the Jewish Christmas, adopting many of the Christmas customs, such as elaborate gift-giving and decoration.