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Whitsun Festival 

Pupils across international Waldorf Schools, in an array of cultures from Durban to Darwin, Silicon Valley to Shfa’amr, Embu to Edinburgh, traditionally wear white and garnish the campus with doves to mark Whitsun.


Whit Sunday is on 19th May, 2024, when the School will be on Half Term (see Session Dates). It will be celebrated in the School on Friday, 17th May – the last day of term. The whole school will finish at 1pm.



Following on from the Ascension Walk, we celebrate Whitsun Festival on this day with a school assembly, enjoying traditional decorations around the campus and many pupils choose to wear white. The dove is the universal symbol of peace.


While Ascension is a time of conscious expansion and recognition of the forces of nature, Whitsun represents a challenge for us to reflect upon ourselves individually and as a community, to understand one another and appreciate the diversity of those around us.


Whitsun is the celebration of the descent of the Holy Spirit into the soul of humanity. The challenge for us is on the one hand individual—namely, for us to try and understand the event of Easter and its meaning for us all—and on the other a community one, to appreciate diversity and understand one another despite differences of language and cultural background.


From the book, “All Year Round”, by A. Druitt, C. Fynes-Clinton and M. Rowling:

“In celebrating Pentecost (Whitsun), we celebrate the insight that the singularity of the individual is sacred, that a spark of divine fire shines from each one of us, and that the accord between individuals rests on the ability truly to understand one another.  To communicate in a spirit of truth is often a difficult challenge in today’s world.  If this challenge can be met, even in modest ways, then the vision of the dove descending – the symbol of the Holy Spirit and the symbol of peace – becomes a reality for individuals, for groups, for nations.”


Read about Festivals, Assembles and Cultural Life at ESS. These events are held by the mandated Festivals Group.