May Fair

Today was the school's May Fair. It was a cool, cloudy day--a reminder that it is still spring.

Here's the 8th grade arriving with the maypole. After it was set up, the two youngest first graders blessed the pole, skipping around it with apple blossoms.

Each grade then danced with the dances getting more complex each time.

Here's Lou getting ready with her class. I wasn't in the best spot for dance photos this year.

After the dancing, the May Fair began. I spent all morning with Hels' class cutting strawberries and whipping cream. We went through at least 175 shortcakes in about 20 minutes!

No worries--there was more sweetness. The cake walk was also popular. Here, children moved around on a circle of tiles while somebody fiddled. When the fiddle stopped, the leader pulled a matching smaller tile out of a basket. Whoever was standing on the winning tile won a cake. There were some pretty snazzy cakes--the first one to go had lollipops sticking out all over it :)

There were also crafts. These star wands were popular with the younger children. First they sanded the stars, then painted, applied glitter, and decorated with ribbons.

Here are all the stars hanging to dry. I thought they were beautiful.

Children could also felt balls of wool and dye them pretty spring colors. After strawberry shortcakes, Hels ended up here helping the younger children with the dyeing. Her hands were black.

Lots of children painted silk scarves. The colors were gorgeous. I wanted my girls to make one for me, but no luck.

The 7th graders offered face painting which was a big hit. Lou arrived home with a lizard on her forehead.

The big mystery at May Fair is to find out whether Lady Spring or King Winter will win the annual argument over which season is best. How to settle the argument? King Winter suggested that we all go home to our towns and vote a gazillion the time we decide it will be November :) The children suggested a tug of war.

It used to be that the old folks would be on Winter's side and the young folks would be on Spring's side. Now it seems to be the girls on Lady Spring's and the boys on King Winter's. Lots of ice cubes get thrown.

OF COURSE Lady Spring ALWAYS wins.

Happy Spring!

Patience  – (May 15, 2008 at 9:00 PM)  

Sigh, if I had a school like this nearby I would send my child without hesitation.

Dawn  – (May 15, 2008 at 9:00 PM)  

That looks like so much fun! When I read about the wonderful school your girls go to, it really makes me want to start one of my own since we don't have one here. I would have to go to more school of course..but it's a dream that just keeps coming into my head. O.k....I just erased what amounted to a whole book about that idea :) Sorry...comments are supposed to be short. I'll write a post about it one of these days.

Lisa Anne  – (May 16, 2008 at 9:39 AM)  

What a fabulous May Fair. I really like King Winter and Lady Spring having it out. "please, step aside King Winter, you shall reign no more!" The tug of war is a fun idea, and all the activities there look incredible!

Tara  – (May 16, 2008 at 10:18 AM)  

Oh, how fun! I love the picture of all the stars and the scarves are beautiful. We have supplies ready to make silk scarves here... as soon as Lady Spring wins and we get some sunny days! You are so blessed to have that wonderful school near you. Thanks for letting the rest of us join in through your words and pictures.

Anonymous –   – (May 16, 2008 at 12:04 PM)  

What fun! King Winter just needs to take a rest now, doesn't he?

Gypsy  – (May 16, 2008 at 7:34 PM)  

No-one does festivals like a Waldorf schiool - so beautiful

Anonymous –   – (May 17, 2008 at 8:02 AM)  

Strawberries and cream are popular at our May Faire as well... but the most popular thing is the peppy lemon. Have you ever done those? Large lemons are rolled to get the juice loose, and a small X is made in the end of the lemon. A peppermint stick of the soft variety is then inserted, and it turns into a minty straw to suck out the sour juice... so yummy!

Sadly in recent year only the younger grades dance around the Maypole.. the older ones may sing or play musical accompaniment..but gone are the days (at least the last couple of years) of the entire school dancing around the pole, class by class.

Teaching Handwork  – (May 18, 2008 at 12:59 AM)  

thank you for sharing...i would really like to have our May fair be a little or elaborate. I like that all the grades dance. we only have the 1st, 2nd and 4th dance. the rest of the grades just sing or play an instrument accompaniment

Teaching Handwork  – (May 18, 2008 at 12:59 AM)  

tell us more about what lady spring and king winter do. I want to bring that to the faculty...I love it!

Lisa  – (May 18, 2008 at 8:46 AM)  

That looks like a great day, everyone really gets involved. Love the idea of King Winter and Lady Spring!

denise  – (May 18, 2008 at 11:26 AM)  

That looks like fun. I love the craft projects. WE'll have to do some of those at home... :)

Cadi  – (May 18, 2008 at 7:47 PM)  

OoOoOoOOoh! How wonderful. Love the silks, love the felting, love the strawberry shortcakes, love tug-o-war between Lady Spring & King Winter! Love it all! :-)

Poppy & Mei  – (May 19, 2008 at 2:22 AM)  

I hope the girls get into the school we are planning to send them too.
It's the main reason we are moving back to OZ.
This post just makes me want it for our family even more.
Thanks so much for sharing it with us...Xxx

Maymomvt  – (May 19, 2008 at 5:23 AM)  

King Winter used to arrive decked out in every kind of sporting gear there was dragging sleds behind him. Now he's more...king-like. He arrives from one part of the playground. Lady Spring appears out of the woods. They meet at one spot and climb up on a couple of benches. Each year their speech changes...but it's in rhyme and it's a little debate about which is better...snow and ice? flowers and grass? White or green? warm or cold? They go back and forth, then look at each other and ask how to decide? This year King Winter said "I know. We could decide with a cake decorating contest--with frosting and icing!" Lady Spring said "Great idea--with flowers and colors!" Then King Winter suggested a long primary voting process. The kids, meanwhile, were already chanting "tug of war."

King Winter is a parent of an alum who comes back every year for the Winter and May Fairs. Lady Spring is a parent.

Hope that helps!

Maymomvt  – (May 19, 2008 at 5:27 AM)  

Regarding older children and their participation in festivals. It is a struggle for us as well. The children begin to grow out of them. With the May Pole, however, this isn't completely the case. Having the eighth grade lead a procession with the pole sets an example. Each class dance is also more complex so they have something to show off. After the May Pole, the 8th graders did disappear this year. But, the 7th grade did the face painting and the 6th sold strawberry shortcakes and got into helping younger kids at some crafts. I think having an expectation that they are leaders and helpers is the way to keep them involved.

The older boys hate wearing May crowns, but they do. I love their crowns. They take a band of willows and then usually stick one flower upright in the front. It actually looks kind of cool in a Waldorfy way :)

Tracy  – (May 19, 2008 at 9:02 AM)  

Every festival for children should be as beautiful! Too many events for children offer cheap thrills, plastic trinkets and pounds of candy. What a blessing!

Lisa  – (May 19, 2008 at 3:44 PM)  

What a gorgeous festival.

I miss them so much from the school community we were part of in Australia. If only we had Waldorf schools in Dubai.

Mirre  – (May 20, 2008 at 5:47 AM)  

What a wonderful day you had!

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