Next week the second grade will lead the school in the celebration of the Winter Festival Season, commencing with the festival honoring Santa Lucia. It is our school’s tradition for the oldest second grade girl, dressed all in white with a red sash and a crown of candles on her head, to lead a procession of the rest of the class, similarly dressed in white.  The children visit every classroom with a basket of warm buns, symbolizing warmth and light in this cold, dark season.  The festival is based on a tale from Sweden.

Friday this week our school will honor the tradition of the Garden of Light festival. This in-school festival provides a quite, contemplative experience for the peaceful, self-reflective side of the holidays. For children, winter is often a time of anticipation. The first snowfall, visits with family and friends, special foods and gifts are some of the events to which children very much look forward. The Garden of Light reflects this special time in a celebration of turning the darkness into light. The festival creates special mood of quiet contemplation and brings us into a deeper relationship with the four kingdoms of nature: mineral, plant, animal and human. During this celebration, kindergarten, first and second grade classes enter a darkened room and walk along a spiral path to light their candles from one candle in the center. They then place their candles along the path, each one bringing more light to the room until it glows softly.  It is quite beautiful.