This week has provided some lovely opportunities to celebrate the arrival of autumn. Throughout the year I have been attempting to establish rituals and traditions that bring joy to our family. Here’s what we got up to…
A key turning point in the year; nights start to get longer than daylight hours. This year we went on a beautiful walk through semi-ancient woodland to one of our biggest local rivers. A picnic of Devon apple cake and cocoa added to the sense of occasion. We also took down our summer decorations and hung up autumn felt leaves on our seasonal tree, and created an autumn table decoration.
The Harvest Moon
We were blessed with clear skies for the rising of the harvest moon. We had baked potatoes, sausages and homegrown sweetcorn and other vegetables cooked on our campfire. My daughter was thrilled to have a late bedtime as we sat amongst candles, sipped homemade, warm elderberry and blackberry cordial, and watched the bats emerge (we have a huge roost in our roof – we think they’re noctules). She’s still talking about the emerging of the moon from the horizon several days later – it was pretty stunning. We have named this our Harvest Moon Party!
Although we are a secular family, I’m happy to borrow from other religious/cultural calendars. As Michaelmas is a key celebration in the Waldorf calendar, I was keen to incorporate what might be relevant in our family. For us, Michaelmas is about the culmination of the harvest (see pumpkin photo!), and preparing for the start of the darker months. I found this site particularly useful for background and ideas from a Waldorf perspective, and this one for a wider ranging perspective and customs. We’ll be:
- Attempting to make a loaf of Struan Micheil
- Enjoying cutting some of our lovely Michaelmas daisies to bring inside and give as presents
- Giving extra care, attention and carrots to our beloved ponies (apparently St Michael was also the patron saint of horses!)
- In the future I love the idea of dyeing and playing with a golden cape from the Waldorf site above.
I’ll be posting about:
- Hallowe’en (celebrated on 31st October)
- Bonfire night (celebrated on 5th November)