As I write this, final preparations are underway for our two Winter Festivals, with the Winter Festival for Classes 3-12 happening this evening and the Winter Festival for the younger classes next week. Each year we come together as close as possible to the Winter Solstice to mark the longest night. At this point we pause in a moment of reverence and stillness to experience the turning point of this yearly journey we take. Many cultures celebrate this time with an experience of walking a spiral – symbolic of journey from the outer reaches at the summer solstice, in to a deeply personal inner experience at the winter solstice and then spiralling back out again.
Our teachers and students have made some beautiful lanterns in preparation and we look forward to joining together with our school community for this celebration. For the festival this evening, I encourage you to come well rugged-up and arrive on time for the beginning of the festival (please be at the Bangalow Showground by 4.45 pm, we will begin as soon as it is dark enough and it would be great to have everyone there and ready in time).
At the end of the festival, we ask that you take the feeling of reverence and peace into the night and leave quietly together immediately after the festival is over.
As a final note on tonight’s festival, the A&I Hall has a limited capacity – we will be able to fit our school community (Classes 3-12 and their immediate families), however, there won’t be room to fit members of the broader community….. so this will be something to share with extended family and friends through your stories and recollections, rather than bringing them all along.
I look forward to seeing you at our Festival tonight or next week. I hope you are able to enjoy the stillness and peace of this special time of the year.