“Squires… Today you will have training and if you manage to complete the tasks successfully, you will be knighted.”
Alhambra, Tintagel, Camelot, Warwick, Des Chevaliers, Lalibela . . . These were the chosen castles to which the squires belonged.
The 2018 Medieval Festival was held on the 12th May and hosted by Constantia Waldorf School. Once the children from around the Western Cape Waldorf Schools arrived on the crisp Saturday morning, they quickly settled in their assigned rooms. Soon thereafter, the children gathered and some recalled previous encounters with each other. Excitement, along with nervousness hung in the air as the chatter carried on. Once everyone gathered in the hall, the children recited an Oath of Chivalry, which was spoken with utter conviction, to welcome an eventful day. When all the children were placed into their allocated castles, there was a short break before the tasks begun.
There were many skills that the squires had to exercise, from strength, fitness, teamwork, accuracy and even aim; and all squires had six trials to overcome, using these skills. The squires were tested in dance, which they later on in the evening shared at the banquet; a dance unique to each castle. The squires’ aim was tested in jousting. Accuracy and aim were tested when the squires did knife throwing. Team work, communication and timing were tested when the squires did the drumming activity; all day the Constantia Waldorf School resonated with the aesthetic notes from the Djembe drums. Just a few doors away, the squires experienced a deep connection to nature, through poetry and art. These poems were spoken for all to hear at the evening banquet. For the stick fighting activity, the squires were watchful of their opponent, prepared to respond swiftly to any and every strike.
Once the training had come to an end, the children prepared themselves for the banquet. They dressed themselves in exclusive medieval attire. There were jesters, ladies, lords, kings and queens that attended the royal banquet.
When the banquet attendees arrived, they entered an exquisitely decorated hall. The red and gold draping and banners danced along the walls and from the ceiling. The walls had decorated shields from the different castle members. The banquet tables were set along the edges of the hall as the center was left open for dancing. Each table was beautifully decorated with lit candles in candelabras, vines, as well as berries and pomegranates. As the night progressed, dinner was served and everyone ate to their fill. The children performed the dances, which they had learnt as part of their training, in becoming a knight. Each school shared something special to them; singing, recorder playing, luminous poi as well as fire poi. To end the ceremony, each squire was knighted by either a King or Queen. What a phenomenal day and night!
Bilqis Pandey, Primary School Assistant