For our family Michaelmas is a season. We celebrate many festivals throughout the year in our home but when we celebrate Michaelmas, it signals the beginning of the time when we look within ourselves more deeply, the time when the darkness of winter sets in. St. Michael is the patron saint of the sea and maritime lands, of ships and boatmen. St. Michael’s story can be complicated and is not easily understood by younger children. We are not a Christian family so reading about St. Michael from that perspective is not the way we choose to celebrate this time. Instead, we briefly talk about that story and regard Michael as “Michael the Victorious” and still use his name to learn and celebrate as many Waldorf (Rudolf Steiner) followers do.
This year we took the entire week to focus on the story of St. George and the Dragon. This story goes nicely with this week because it also has the good versus evil theme. St. George who is good, fights the dragon who is evil. In her book, “A Journey Through Waldorf Homeschooling (Kindergarten)”, Melisa Nielsen says that this festival has great significance especially for young children still battling their inner will. The battle of good versus evil is one they know well! She also says that older children also often see the battle (from the book), mirroring battles that could be going on around them and their “need” as children to try to understand it all.
We read, drew, baked dragon bread, reinacted the story and had a fun time. Here are the photos, please refer to my bread making entry for a great bread recipe that can be used to bake the dragon bread. Just shape it like a dragon and bake it until it appears done!