Monday, October 3, 2011


This year's Michaelmas was slightly quieter than the previous ones. That was due to this Mama being a bit forgetful (like forgetting to make our dragon candle) and still not quite into our school year rhythm.

We watched the Michaelmas play from Walnut Hill again. I wasn't able to get any photos of the dragon up close this time, C was having a rough day and I didn't dare leave her sight. Next year I look forward to seeing the play up close as K and her first grade class will be in it.

Some of the early childhood classes were dyeing silks with flowers from our garden during the festival (the name of the flower used is escaping me at the moment which is driving me nuts! Our parent/child class used them last year to dye our silks. I'll add it when it comes back to me). It's such a fun process to watch. K's class did it earlier in the week on their craft day so she had her silk cape to wear for the festival along with a crown she made in class, as well.

K's dragon

C's dragon

When we came home after school we read Dragon Baked Bread
and Saint George and the Dragon.
Then the girls made their own dragon bread. I had planned on making the dragon shape myself but they both really wanted to make their own dragons so we did that, instead. I enjoyed observing them hard at work making their creations just how they wanted to. It ended up being much more special than me just making it for them.

It is said that the dragon landed in blackberry bushes when St. George defeated him, and that present day blackberries die off after Michaelmas in remembrance of this. Of course K is quick to point out that our blackberries are still growing here in Oregon, then again our growing seasons seem to be so far behind the rest of the country.

We like to incorporate blackberries into our Michaelmas celebration in one form or another. This year, even after filling our freezer almost to the point of overflowing with blackberries and making a couple batches of jam,we had some blackberries starting to go bad. K wanted to make dye with them. I wasn't quite up to dealing with the the clean up after dying so we compromised with making an ink/paint concoction. There was no recipe nor no rhyme or reason as to how we made it. We boiled some blackberries and then once they were mushy and jam like, we put them into cheesecloth. We let the berry juice drain into a cup. It was dark and thick. Not sure why I did it but I thought I would add some vinegar to the mixture, then I poured it into paint jars for the girls. They wanted to draw with feather so they each picked one out of their large bird feather collection and got to work.

I think they liked their project.

Michaelmas is one of my favorite holidays. It's such a meaningful celebration and reminder to me to look deep within myself. Now to get busy working on defeating my own personal dragon/demons. That is always easier said than done, don't you think? I often wonder after years and years of trying to defeat those demons if I ever really will. Do any of you ever feel this way?

Anyways, happy belated Michaelmas!

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