Celebrate as they fall! How gladly one thinks back to a successful celebration, to Christmas, when a Christmas carol resounds under the burning candles on the Christmas tree, to the warming fire and the steaming punch after the lantern procession, to balmy summer nights when the sun has set, to staying up late or singing songs and roundelays together, to the many children's birthdays, one's own and those of friends. When we celebrate, when we experience festivities, moments arise that trigger a pleasant feeling in our breasts and make the children's eyes shine. Happy celebrations are food for the soul, valuable treasures from childhood. They are among the most formative moments in our lives. Through the design of the room and the seasonal table we bring the seasonal events into the house. In addition, today there is an abundance of narrative material, fairy tales, stories, songs and games. Suitable for every season and every celebration, e.g. for Easter, Pentecost, Johanni (summer solstice), Michaeli, St. Martin, Advent, Christmas and of course also for children's birthdays, we have put together a large selection of useful, aesthetic and pedagogically valuable products for you and your children on the following pages.
In earlier times, primitive peoples celebrated special events in the astronomical course of the year: the winter and summer equinoxes, when day and night are of exactly the same length, the winter solstice, when the sun has reached its lowest point, and the summer solstice, when the sun has reached its highest point and is the longest day, the shortest night of the year. As the Christian religion spread more and more through the Church, missionaries took up these festivals and placed the Christian annual festivals, which are still valid today, close in time to these ancient festivals: Easter and Michaelmas are celebrated at the equinox of the sun, Christmas is celebrated at the winter solstice and John the summer solstice. The original worship of nature has been replaced by the celebration of prescribed festivals of the church. The Church Fathers knew how much the celebration of festivals delighted people and gave them the opportunity to escape from their everyday life with fun. The birthday is also a celebration that we have not yet celebrated for so long. In the past, not much importance was attached to the birthday, but the name day was the greatest celebration of the individual. In certain catholic countries people still celebrate it that way, but with us, especially for the children, the birthday is the most beautiful celebration besides Christmas. Especially a child's birthday can be a wonderful, unforgettable celebration. So much excitement and anticipation in the run-up to the birthday child. In the most beautiful case, the parents, the family are anxious to celebrate the child in its uniqueness and to give it the best day of the year. In some families there are firm traditions, like a birthday cake and a present for breakfast. In the afternoon, a celebration with family and, in time, a party with the friends of the birthday child. Of course, a child's birthday can also be celebrated spontaneously, but it will be a particularly successful birthday if you think about it beforehand and involve the child in the preparations: Who is to be invited to the birthday party and how many can come, invitations can be made, games can be thought of which can be both exciting, thrilling but also quiet, when is the celebration to begin, how many hours is it to last, is there a gift for the guests, a treasure hunt, what food is to be served, the child can also help bake the cake. In this way a child's birthday party can become a wonderful experience. In the kindergarten the child's birthday is also celebrated in a special way. A song is sung, a birthday story is told which, although it has been heard so often, is nevertheless exciting for the birthday child, because it is now told only for him, for her. And also here the birthday child gets a little present. What do we adults associate with celebration? Fun, good food, presents, funny moments and also festive ones - the day should be perfect, stand out from our everyday life and be remembered for a long time! Celebrating festivals is also part of the everyday life of Waldorf kindergartens and Waldorf schools. In the kindergarten there is a custom for every celebration or even several: at Easter it is the painting of eggs and sowing the Easter grass; at Whitsun white doves are created and given to the children to take home; at Johanni, the Midsummer celebration on the longest day of the year, a big fire is lit over which the very brave children can jump and also at Michaelmas the fire has a special place, for example when a blacksmith is invited and of course there is also a lot of trials of courage, at St. John's Day a fire is lit and the children can jump over it. At St. Martin's, lanterns are made and accompanied by lantern songs, the children wander the streets with their parents and educators. During the Advent season, baking is done, candles are made and small presents are made. The classic celebrations that we celebrate at home with the family are Easter and Christmas. On Christmas Eve the children's eyes shine and when everyone has gathered around the table full of delicious food, the children can hardly wait to finally unpack their Christmas presents, which are already waiting for them under the Christmas tree.