Candlemas marks half-way between the shortest day and the Spring equinox. We have been in a period of hopeful waiting and the forces of nature begin to stir new growth all around us.
The children have noticed the bulb children poking their heads above ground on their walks to our local park. Light and warmth move more freely again and there’s hopefulness in the air.
Here’s how the three elements of our setting come together to celebrate Candlemas in age-appropriate ways.
In Parent & Child (from birth to age 3 years) we were greeted today by a beautiful new nature table featuring Spring elements. Our songs and stories today changed with the new season and for a Candlemas activity, little hands got to work warming and moulding sweet-smelling sheets of beeswax into candles to take home and light.
In Kindergarten (age 3 to 6 years) the children from both classes had a joint outdoor day where, after making chapattis on the fire for snack, we walked to the local park together and had our ring time around candles in jars (to protect them from Brother Wind!) and played a lovely game of Lady Spring. (Lady Spring wears a beautiful pink flower crown and chooses who will partner for dancing)
In the School (age 6 years+) the Class 1 and 2 children celebrated Candlemas by writing out the Candlemas verse and hand-dipping candles in layers of red and green that looked like beautiful spring bulbs. As the children are passionate about our planet, this was a lovely zero-waste activity – the wax was melted down from the leftovers of December’s Advent festival candles.
Teacher Nicola presented each child with an early daffodil, ready to bloom and an Imbolc candle she had made from very special wax which was leftover from candles lit by the peace flame a few years ago.
Our stories in Kindergarten and School have recently centred around the beautiful story The Root Children by Sibylle Von Olfers which ties in so beautifully with Candlemas, where we set candles in the ground to warm the earth and help the bulb children come to the surface and bloom. The Kindergarten children planted their candles in the park today and the School children planted theirs in the class garden.
When the Kindergarten children returned at lunchtime, the School children joined them for a special feast in honour of St Brigid followed by a beautiful puppet show and some time to sing together.
The puppet show followed the theme of The Root Children using beautiful puppets made by Teacher Maisy.