Seasonal festivals renew our awareness of the rhythms of the year and foster the children’s relationship to the seasons, the world, our community and other cultures, as well as giving them a sense of gratitude. Festivals are coordinated by the faculty, with parent support from the classes designated below, and by parents.
The festivals we celebrate at Summerfield include:
MICHAELMAS (WORKDAY, PAGEANT & COMMUNITY PICNIC) Grades Seven and Eight support
Archangel Michael is mentioned in the Bible, Apocrypha and Koran. He appears as a spiritual figure and protector of humankind, inspiring strength, will, and courage throughout history. The motif of a conqueror of the dragon can be seen in much Chinese art, in Apollo and the serpent, in Krishna slaying demons, and in the familiar story of Saint George and the dragon.
Michael overcoming the dragon with his sword of light is an image that calls us all to be brave, to take command of the ‘dragon’ and transform it. Each of us has our own inner dragon of fear, greed, thoughtlessness or apathy. Michael’s qualities of courage, compassion, and steadfastness can be an inspiration to us all. The festival includes a workday in which students from 2nd through 12th grade work side by side on projects around the campus and farm. The workday is followed by a pageant (play) and a community picnic supper on the grassy fields behind the Lower School buildings.
SPRITES NIGHT Grades Three and Four support
A pumpkin-lit path, enchanted scenes from fairy tales and themes from the curriculum, simple natural treats, a bonfire, live music, and a home-made meal make up this magical evening.
THE ADVENT SPIRALS Class Advent Walks by the First, Second and Third Grade parents and teachers
Community Advent Spiral by school-wide parent volunteers
Advent is a time of anticipation, preparation, and waiting. This event for the young child from K through second or third grade is a walk into a spiral of greenery where the child lights his/her own candle and then finds a spot on the spiral to place the candle beside others. Gradually, a spiral of light illuminates the darkened room. With this warm light and gentle harp music, a mood of reverence envelops the children at this special time of year. Kindergarten Advent Garden will take place in the classroom during a school day. First through third graders will walk the Advent Spiral in the Eurythmy Barn during an evening event.
WINTER FAIRE The Kindergartens, Grades Five and Six support
This holiday event includes hands-on craft activities such as gingerbread cookie decorating, beeswax candle dipping, and potpourri making; live music; a puppet show; and a delicious meal with homemade goodies. Local vendors sell a variety of lovely quality gifts: dolls, silks, candles, calendars, crafts materials, classic books, and hand-made items.
SHEPHERDS’ PLAY Parent volunteers (no specific grade)
A Christmas Play presented by faculty, staff, students and selected community members, with cider and treats to follow.
EPIPHANY BONFIRE Parent volunteers (no specific grade)
On an evening as close as possible to Epiphany, (weather and burn-day policies permitting), community members are invited to bring their Christmas trees and greenery to campus, to watch them burn in a glorious bonfire. Songs, hot cider and sometimes baked potatoes and cake are shared.
MAY FAIRE CELEBRATIONS Early Childhood
The Preschool and Kindergarten teachers host May Day celebrations in their play yards each year, complete with festive maypoles and flower crowns for each child. Lower School
May Faire is an event carried by both teachers and parents as a celebration of spring and the beauty it brings to our campus and our lives, in moving through the cycle of the seasons. The event includes maypole dancing, flower garland making, a procession with a May Queen and her court, a meal, strawberry shortcake and games. It takes place in the morning of a regular school day.
EIGHTH GRADE TRANSITION CEREMONY AND HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION Grades Six and Seven support Eighth Grade; Grades Nine, Ten and Eleven support Twelfth Grade
Graduations are coordinated by the lower school secretary and a high school committee, with support by the classes assigned.