Steve always gets a chuckle when I declare that a Waldorf festival is upcoming, especially if it ends in -mas (Martinmas! Michaelmas! And now, Candlemas!). I'm lucky he's such a good sport. We're still just exploring it all; trying to see what fits with our family and which elements that we want to embrace.
The beginning of February is a time of celebration in many cultures, marking the halfway point through winter and signaling a shift in focus to looking forward to spring. Silas and I spent much of last week talking about Groundhog Day (including A Garden for a Groundhog and Groundhog Day! as our Circle Time books) and pretending to be groundhogs that are waking up from our long winter naps in our dens. I love the idea of celebrating the practice of looking to animals and nature for signs about what lies ahead. But honestly? The name "Groundhog Day" feels so uninspired to me. There are parts of the Candlemas celebration that really speak to me - the lighting of candles, the flowers, the food - but it's so specifically religious. Brigid's Day/Imbolc is really beautiful. Celebrating the goddess of midwifery, the hearth, and transformation? Yes, please. But, we're still working on pulling it all together.
For this year, we rolled and decorated beeswax candles, a first for us. Silas loved it. He helped me set the beeswax sheets in the sunshine to soften and then carefully rolled them around the wick. We had a bit of green wax left and I asked him if he wanted to decorate one of our candles. He very matter-of-factly said that it should be a tree. And so I started cutting out leaves.
We burned one with our dinner (French Onion Soup - incredibly time consuming with a three hour prep, but so worth it and fitting for a festival day) and had a bit of Devil's Food Cake for dessert. It was wonderful, if only because we spent the day, the three of us, together celebrating the returning light.