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!
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.