Petra’s class had their Matariki  (Maori New Year) celebration tonight. The children had made cardboard lanterns with tealight candles stuck to the bottoms. They were lit and we went in a procession through the school garden and into the park, where we formed a huge circle around a brazier. The teachers lit the fire and we sang winter solstice songs. Then the procession wended its way back through the garden and homewards.

It was almost fully dark by the time we finished, so the lights in the lanterns glowed brightly.

Simple but very exciting for the children. And moving for me. I’m always a bit teary about the Steiner festivals with their carefully decorated spaces, the awareness of the changing seasons, the singing, and the emphasis on the community. It’s such a lovely thing to be part of. Petra had a huge smile for the whole time and big shining eyes. And when we got home she said, ‘what did you think? what did you think?’ over and over.


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