Events and Festivals
As living traditions, there are ebbs and flows and events sometimes change as new ones come life. Some activities are suited only for older students, while others may be enjoyed early childhood only, and others for the whole community.
Opening Assembly - Rose Ceremony
This is always an exciting time of transition for everyone. There is an opening assembly for students in Grades 1–8 on this day. Each grades teacher presents a short preview of the year to come.
Held as the opening to the assembly, the First Day of School Assembly, the Rose Ceremony for grades 1–8 and their parents. Here each first grader is given a rose by an 8th grader, making a circle of those beginning and those ending their formal Waldorf education.
At the end of September or early in October, near the autumnal equinox, we celebrate “Michaelmas.” According to ancient traditions, this festive day honors the archangel Michael who courageously subdued a dragon to save the kingdom. At AWS, this celebration recognizes the powers within each of us to overcome darkness with light that gives strength and purpose in life. All families are invited to observe our celebration that includes challenging activities, feats of strength and courage, harvest soup, dragon bread and more.
In November, Lantern Walk celebrates Martinmas, a festival of inner light in the outer darkness of the approaching winter. Celebrating Martinmas at Asheville Waldorf School serves as a reminder that each of us has a divine spark that we must ferry out into the world and share with others. The children from our Early Childhood classes and grades 1-3 sing songs and venture out into the night with their lanterns walking along a path lit with glowing luminaries in a mood of quiet reverence.
Winter Faire and Craft Bizarre
Each year the AWS Early Childhood campus is transformed into a winter wonderland. In a day of celebration, families gather together and enjoy arts and crafts, children’s games, puppet shows, food and treats, music, singing and holiday gift shopping. This event is open to the public, so bring your entire family for a unique experience in Asheville.
From a single candle, in a darkened room, each child lights his or her own candle, and places it on a spiral of greenery laid out on the whole floor until a magical spiral of light grows to illuminate what began as a dimly lit space. Each class has an opportunity to walk this beautiful spiral. Parents are invited to join this festival with their children’s respective classes.
Winter is a time of celebration in the midst of the deepest darkness of the year. While many cultures celebrate spiritual renewal and light overcoming darkness at this time, we keep in mind that Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, and other families in the School do not celebrate Christmas. The School welcomes families to share other traditions.
There is an assembly for students and parents of the whole school. Grades 2–8 typically share a song, movement piece or poem they have been working on throughout the year.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day
While the school is closed for the Monday federal holiday, we encourage everyone to come to school to participate in the Day of Service to honor and remember the important contributions Dr. King made to the world. There are age-appropriate activities offered for all students. We also sponsor community service activities in honor of Dr. King on the holiday.
Spring Gala and Auction
A special night out for the community to celebrate our school and to raise funds for financial aid and special projects. This is an adults-only event, and we welcome all members of the community to join us. The Spring Gala and Auction typically takes place towards the end of April or in early May.
Grandparents and Special Friends Day
Grandparents and Special Friends receive an invitation to spend a Friday morning at the School, usually the Friday closest to May 1. A talk on Waldorf education (which gives grandparents and friends some insight into your choice of a Waldorf education), festive presentations by students, and classroom visits make this a lovely and informative occasion for these honored guests.
We welcome Spring with our May Faire celebration. This is traditionally held during the first weekend of May. May Faire is a time for crafts, music, dancing and joyful community gathering. Children learn songs and interweave ribbons around the May Pole. We invite the entire Asheville community to join us in the festivities.
End of Year Assembly - Rose Ceremony
At this end of year assembly for students and parents, grades 1–8 typically share a song, movement piece or poem they have been working on throughout the year.
We also hold another Rose Ceremony, which mirrors the one in August, each 8th grader is given a rose by a first-grader, completing the circle of those beginning and those ending their formal Waldorf education.
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Educating the whole child, in mind, body, and spirit,
for a life of continuous learning
and meaningful engagement with the world.
ASHEVILLE WALDORF SCHOOL
531 Haywood Road
Asheville, NC 28806
Main office: 828.575.2557