Thursday, February 2, 2012

Our Candlemas Celebration

Up until this year, Candlemas (Imbolc, Brigit, Groundhog Day) had always been one of those festivals celebrated in Waldorf tradition that just didn't quite resonate with me.  Like most holiday/festivals, its roots can be traced back to both Pagan and Christian beliefs, but most of what I came across was based on the church and its religious meaning.  However, recently I stumbled across another interpretation that finally made sense to me!  In other cultures, Candlemas is honored as the first (unofficial) day of spring.  It marks the half way point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox.  Farmers would traditionally start preparing their fields for crops, turning the soil, etc. It is the time of "stirring of the seeds"- remembering that while it may appear Mother Earth is sleeping on the surface, underneath new life is preparing to spring forth. This seemed a fitting way to honor this day as we are noticing bits of spring already.  So, with that in mind, we started a new tradition in honoring Mother Earth and what is happening in our surroundings on this day!

 Already, daffodils are in bloom in our yard, so I cut some blooms and placed them on the mantle as well as cleared off some of the "old" winter nature items.  This root child also came out and I hope to needlefelt some more soon to add to the mantle.

 We have also been noticing more, um, activity with the birds so we thought now would be a great time to set out some nesting material.  I have been saving some bits of wool and we also collected some dried coconut husks to add to a suet cake holder.  The squirrels have already been stealing the coconut husk liner from my planter baskets so why not put some aside for the birds?!
 The kids were also inspired to work some more on their children's garden.  The rebuilt the retaining wall to make the garden longer and have even sectioned it off a bit "for flowers, bushes and plants".  I love how much enthusiasm they have towards gardening.
 I set Blake to work making some simple candle holders.  He just hammered a nail into the center of a cedar tree cookie.  We have done these in the past, but this was the first time he made them entirely by himself.
 Here is a better view of the new and improved garden!
 Kenna helped me clear out the planting bed on the side of the house.  With the temps reaching 70 degrees today, we couldn't help but feel anxious to work in the dirt!  Oh, what dreams we have for this bed!
 In addition to daffodils, the tulips are also popping up.  This is a photo by Blake.  He actually took many today and I am planning on posting it to the blog in a seperate post.  They are quite good!  He just kept saying how much he loved taking pictures and I always love seeing how they view the world through the lens.

And of course we couldn't celebrate Candlemas without making candles!  I purchased this natural beeswax candle kit from A Toy Garden.  We have made similar candles in the past, but this was the first time we use natural colored as opposed to colored.  You can see Blake's candle holders above.  If the candle is rolled tight enough, the nail works perfectly to hold the "taper" in place.  The kids really loved eating our meal by candlelight, using the candles they created.  In fact, we had candles lighting up the whole house.  It created such a magical feeling that set a wonderful tone for the rest of the evening!

There were a few things planned that we did not get to, but of course there is always next year!  It was a simple celebration, but as always with children, simple usually has a profound effect.

No comments:

Post a Comment