It is wonderful to experience the build-up to and excitement of a beautiful festival like St John’s. In the southern hemisphere, it is winter and our days are shorter and our nights long and cold. This interplay of dark and night, warmth and cold are at the heart of our festival. The singing of songs, the making of colourful lanterns and the telling of stories are the build-up to an evening where the light and warmth of our school community is given the opportunity to shine.
Last year the festival was opened with some beautiful singing by the children. From the singing, the children went to their classrooms and, with great joy, the individual spark of each child was reflected in their glowing lanterns. Together, in a quiet and reflective manner, the children carried each light in a chain, moving into the dusk, walking into and then out again of our spiral. This created an interplay of contraction and expansion.
Our walk ended with our being led to stand around the bonfire, where the Class 7s were ready to light their torches and share their verse, “Fire am I”. Lighting the bonfire was the crescendo of the evening as we celebrated the power, warmth and the strength of the flames.
As the roaring, flaming and popping fire subsided to a warm and glowing light, we gathered as we shared warm soup. Play, laughter, and excited chatter was heard. As the evening closed a sense of gratitude was felt for the beautiful experience.
Daniel Raubenheimer, Class 4 teacher