The Michael Mount rose ceremony

Celebrating significant moments in childhood

Waldorf schools make an effort to observe significant moments in childhood and to celebrate these with rituals that have meaning for children. One of the most beautiful, symbolic and touching of these rituals is the rose ceremony held at the beginning of each year.

Each school has its own way of celebrating the rose ceremony. On the first school day of the year at Michael Mount, the new Class 1 children are welcomed into the school by Class 8 students, who are at the end of their primary school career. The older students accompany the young ones past the assembled school to the front of the auditorium, where each young child is presented with a rose by a Matric student.

The ceremony acknowledges that the young children are entering a new phase in life – their individual awakening and education will take place away from their parents in the community of the school. The ceremony allows older children to start taking on the roles of leaders and guides in the community.

Leaving nursery school and entering the big school is an enormous shift for children. Instead of the transition being scary, they are welcomed and guided into the unknown by older students who have gone through the same transition … and often the same ceremony. The young ones are reassured. They are made to feel valued, welcomed, supported and worthy of acknowledgement. The gift of a beautiful rose for each child reinforces their uniqueness … and their sameness as part of the group.