Easter Festival: The Celebration of New Life

festivals Mar 29, 2023
Waldorf Easter traditions and celebrations

“The festivals are nodal points of the year which unite us with the Spirit of the universe.”  ~Rudolf Steiner

There are not many things in this world that fill a Waldorf teacher's heart like the preparation of a festival. The planning of a festival is such a beautiful activity and it creates a most wonderful space for the nourishment of the children. When you ask a Waldorf teacher or parent what their favorite festival would be, the answers would be varied and it is always difficult to choose.

Just as the child has a festival that warms the heart so do we as adults love the preparation and completion of a festival. These festivals can bring so much nourishment to the souls of children but abstract and intellectual explanations should be avoided. When we look to Easter we can choose from many traditions and symbols to celebrate Easter. The word Easter probably comes from the Anglo -Saxon name EOSTRAE, Old High German OSTARA. A German spring and light goddess was so named. The word “aurora”, the morning dawn, is a cognate word. It also indicates a new beginning, of new life, of new working of light within the old creation.

This festival brings so many amazing activities and opportunities to create and enhance the Easter experience. The children need to empty eggs and decorate them with forms of circles, spirals, wavy lines, blossoms and stars. Why do we paint and decorate the egg? The decoration of the egg symbolizes order and harmony.

The Easter Hare is also a very beautiful symbol of self sacrifice as it will intercede for another when one hare is chased by a dog or another predator. This beautiful creature should not be confused with the rabbit or bunny. They are good friends but the hare himself is invisible and has of course a golden pelt.

The festival table can be filled with the wonder of Easter. On the table covered with green cloth, stands the bowls with sprouting wheat grass, eggs, bread and a bowl to receive the hidden eggs. A most wonderful activity is to create an Easter tree with painted eggs suspended from a branch placed in a vase.

May all our families in the Seasons of Seven community have a most blessed Easter and may your hearts be warmed by the spirit of renewal.

~By Mr. Siepker

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