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Mid-Winter Festival of St John: Thursday 24th June
In the dark of the early evening on one of the longest nights of the year we celebrate our annual Mid-Winter Festival of St John. It’s a beautiful festival marked by a multitude of handmade lanterns. Every year the children prepare their lanterns in the preceding weeks. Older classes create lanterns out of complex geometric forms, while younger classes focus on the colourful windows.
The Mid-Winter Festival of St John seeks to give new life to universal truths that play an important role in moral education. One such truth is that when things are dark, sad or seemingly unbearable, somewhere close by is the gift, light or valuable learning that the seemingly hopeless situation presents. The true light shines on, even in darkness.
It was a lovely clear, still night this year as the community gathered in silence and darkness for the lighting of the central flame in the courtyard. After the opening verse, teachers lit their candles from this flame to light the candles of the children's lanterns. From here, the children left the courtyard for their lantern walk down to the pond area, where the gathering of lanterns and music created such a beautiful sight and sound.
Returning through the avenue of torches held aloft by Class Seven to the courtyard again, where Class Seven lit the fire as they spoke the Fire poem.
The evening ended with the sharing of warm potatoes, kumara and spiced juice.