Goundhog Day and Candlemas

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So many of our modern holidays and festivals have their roots in ancient traditions. Christmas celebrations may include a crèche, decorated tree, stockings hung by the fire, and an Advent calendar counting the days until a jolly figure delivers us gifts via a reindeer powered sleigh. Many Christians mark Easter celebrations with a church service combined with a rabbit hiding colored eggs and baskets filled with treats. Our modern celebrations often merge these rituals so thoroughly that it is difficult to trace their origins.

The calendar tells us that February 2 is Groundhog Day. This is the day we look towards the predictive powers of the Groundhog to discern whether our winter is nearly through. What are the roots of this celebration?

February 2 marks the midpoint between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. For ancient agrarian cultures, this came with the hope that the struggle of winter was coming to an end, and was a time to bless spring plantings and the awakening earth. Christian cultures marked this day as Candlemas, the day that Jesus was first brought to temple, 40 days after his birth. In the Middle Ages, Candlemas was marked with a church service to bless the candles used in the upcoming year, and homes were tidied to sweep away the winter gloom and make ready a space for new beginnings.

The weather on Candlemas was thought to predict the coming spring:

If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Come, Winter, have another flight;
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,
Go Winter, and come not again.

And there was this German proverb:

The badger peeps out of his hole on Candlemas Day,
and, if he finds snow, walks abroad;
but if he sees the sun shining he draws back into his hole.

So both Groundhog Day and spring-cleaning have their roots in the ancient celebration of Candlemas.

In our Waldorf School, we celebrate Candlamas and its promise of spring and the return of the light. During the day, one-by-one, the children of each class dip candles for the upcoming year and they may recite the following verse.

Candle, candle burning bright
Winter’s halfway done tonight.
With a-glowing we are knowing
Spring will come again!

You might consider marking Candlemas at home with a candlelit meal. Or perhaps by sweeping out your hearth and lighting a new fire to provide light and warmth in these waning days of winter, and giving a fresh place for inspiration to grow.

Parent Child Programs: Register Now!

Due to popular demand, we have expanded our Parent Child Programs.  This September we are offering 3 parent toddler programs, an infant program and our popular outdoor toddler program.

 

PARENT INFANT PROGRAM
(Birth – 12 Months)

This program provides an opportunity to find and give support during one of the most joyous, exhausting and overwhelming times of parenthood.  Held on Monday mornings from 9-10:30 am, this session is for infants and their caregivers. CLICK HERE for Parent Infant Program information and registration documents.

 

MIXED AGE TODDLER PROGRAM
(1 – 3 years)


little with duck chickFor the fall session, we have expanded our popular toddler classes. Classes are now held on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays from 9-11am.  Perfect for the new walker to the older toddler, and their caregiver. In this 6 week class, you can explore the joys and challenges of raising your child in a supportive and nurturing environment. Caregivers and children share a lovely morning of play, snack and circle time. Siblings are welcome.  Click below for more Parent Toddler Program information and registration documents.

TUESDAY TODDLER Info and Registration

WEDNESDAY TODDLER Info and Registration

THURSDAY TODDLER Info and Registration

 

Acorns Outdoor Program
(2.5 – 4 years)

Acorn. New forest preschool class offered Fall 2014.Get a taste of the “forest nursery” concept popular in Europe and profiled in the Providence Journal. Acorns is an outdoor parent child program for 2.5-4 year olds and their caregivers. Spend time exploring our beautiful forest and meadows at a child’s pace. Share story, song and snack outdoors as your child is allowed to play freely and discover our world.  Held on Thursdays from 9-10:30am beginning in September. CLICK HERE for Acorns Program information and registration.

Introducing Acorns: A New Parent-Toddler Class

Acorn. New forest preschool class offered Fall 2014.

Acorns: An Outdoor Parent Child Program (3-4 years)


Get a taste of the “forest nursery” concept popular in Europe and recently profiled in the Providence Journal. Acorns is an outdoor parent child program for 3-4 year olds and their caregivers. Spend time exploring our beautiful forest and meadows at a child’s pace. Share story, song and snack outdoors as your child is allowed to play freely and discover our world.  Held on Thursdays from 9-10:30am beginning in April.  CLICK HERE for more information and the registration form.

Parent-Child Programs: Upcoming Sessions

Now Enrolling for the Spring Session beginning the week of February 23rd.

Parent Infant New ClassParent-Child Program
(Birth to 12 months)
Our doors opened even wider this past September with the launch of the Parent and Infant Program. For infants and their caregivers, this program provides an opportunity to find and give support during one of the most joyous, exhausting and overwhelming times of parenthood.

Parent Infant Class – Spring 2015(1) – Registration

Now Offering Two Mixed Age Toddler Classes (9 months-3 years)
For the spring session, we are offering two of our popular toddler classes. Perfect for the new walker to the older toddler, and their caregiver. In these 12 week class you can explore the joys and challenges of raising your child in a supportive and nurturing environment. Caregivers and children share a lovely morning of play, snack and circle time. Siblings are welcome.

Wed Mixed Age Toddler Class – Winter 2015 – Registration

Thursday Mixed Age Toddler Class – Mid Semester Winter 2015 – Registration