Throughout history, in all civilizations, there have been celebrations reflecting nature's rhythms, important transitions, and significant moments in the life of the culture. We celebrate these to sustain and renew ourselves. To the young child, each day has something of festival quality. For the children, the elements of festival - light, food, song and story - permeate the weekly school rhythm; but the cadence of the year receives its form through festivals. Annual festivals of nature and humanity are celebrated in ways which foster wonder, reverence and gratitude and which nourish the future capacity to respond; to be responsible for and among the human community. Teachers, parents and children work together in anticipation and celebration to express the unique character and variety of major and minor festivals appropriate to the child's age and curriculum.


In the autumn, at harvest season, we celebrate Michaelmas (pronounced Mick'-ul-mas). As the seasons transition from the outer warmth of summer to the coolness of fall, we turn inward to our community for inner warmth. We celebrate with an array of harvest fruits and dragon bread, and the school play.

Martinmas- Lantern Walk
The story of St. Martin often inspires a lantern walk and the sharing of lantern songs, simple cookies or cake, and warmth with friends. The younger children may make lanterns in their classrooms and join their families in an evening lantern walk where they sing with lanterns held high. For the children, the lanterns are symbols of their own individual light, and the walk into the cold, dark evening gives the children an experience of sharing "their own light" as the darkness of winter approaches.

Winter Garden
The festival that families of young children share at the beginning of the winter season is one of the most beautiful and memorable of the year. In a dark room lit by candles, smelling of evergreens, voices are lifted in song. Each child walks, one at a time, through the spiral of evergreens to the center. Each child lights their candle and then places it somewhere on the pathway to light the way for the next child. It is a reminder of the journey inward each of us must make during the dark days ahead.

Holiday Faire
The annual Holiday Faire, in early December, is bursting with magic for everyone. The combined artistic efforts of children, parents, and faculty make this festival a huge success for our own families as well as the community at large. The array of music, crafts, and magical scenes make this an extraordinary event. DOWNLOAD POSTER

May Faire
May Faire is an ancient festival welcoming spring. The tree of life was part of this ritual and is now represented by the Maypole. Our school's May Faire is an annual event where we raise a sixteen foot pole, bedecked with fresh flowers and ribbons. The children wear floral crowns and celebrate the arrival of spring with dancing and singing. A family picnic adds to the gaiety of the day.

Educating Children For the Journey

Waldorf teacher, Jack Petrash gives us his valuable perspectives on educating children.

Preparing for Life  

A New Film from Paul Zehrer and the Waldorf School of the Peninsula

"We were extremely pleased with our older son James’s education at Whatcom Hills Waldorf School. There was a clear qualitative difference between James’s experiences at prior (non-Waldorf) schools before we moved to Bellingham and WHWS. It was breathtaking to watch how quickly James bloomed at WHWS."

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