Monday, May 24, 2010
The Start of Summer and Good times to Come.
It is a warm sunny day here, getting warmer now and soon I hope I will be back outside, but for now I am in bed thinking of things to come.
It is Whitsun Weekend, in England they call it Spring Bank Holiday, the holiday has made me curious about these festivals and their origins.
It is obvious that our holidays like Easter and Christmas owe their existence to older religions.
Easter was the time to express thanks for the new growing season starting; the rabbit was a symbol of the old religion as they worshipped the goddess Eastre
My dad told me that every first day of the month before I said anything I had to tap my foot three times on the foot of my bed and each time say rabbit, rabbit, rabbit.
I asked Richie and he told me it was a remnant of an old religion, funny how our holidays are all existing ones that have been remodelled to suit our religions.
Funny that my father, who was a devout Catholic, should be such an advocate for the old religion, he tapped his foot and said rabbit, rabbit, rabbit every first day of the month.
‘’Easter is named for a Saxon goddess who was known by the names of Oestre or Eastre, and in Germany by the name of Ostara. She is a goddess of the dawn and the spring, and her name derives from words for dawn, the shining light arising from the east. Our words for the "female hormone" estrogen derives from her name.’’
Interesting to find out that old pagan traditions were reworked and taken over by Christian religions, makes sense to rename the festivals and make them your own.
That explains the eggs and the bunnies which of course are symbols of the new life that happens with the beginning of spring.
Then there is Christmas another holiday that was converted from a pagan festival to a Christian one.
‘’ No one knows what day Jesus Christ was born on. From the biblical description, most historians believe that his birth probably occurred in September, approximately six months after Passover.
One thing they agree on is that it is very unlikely that Jesus was born in December, since the bible records shepherds tending their sheep in the fields on that night. This is quite unlikely to have happened during a cold Judean winter. So why do we celebrate Christ’s birthday as Christmas, on December the 25th.
The answer lies in the pagan origins of Christmas. In ancient Babylon, the feast of the Son of Isis (Goddess of Nature) was celebrated on December 25. Raucous partying, gluttonous eating and drinking, and gift-giving were traditions of this feast. ‘’
‘’The Pagan holiday was called Saturnalia, honouring Saturn, the God of Agriculture.’’
So all our big festivals are clearly linked to the seasons, Christmas is the time when we get all the foods we still have and make a feast to celebrate the fact that it is the Winter Solstice.
And once the dark nights are over the new light of spring will be here and with that will come new life which we celebrate with eggs and chicks and rabbits.
I much prefer to know the truth about everything and knowing that Pagan holidays were turned into Christian ones make sense to me, it was all about winning the hearts and minds of the people.
Researching this has kept me busy and makes the time go by that I have to stay in bed, hope Ton agrees with Richie that I can sit again this coming Wednesday.
Makes me feel like starting my own festival on Wednesday and celebrating it every year.
Well here’s to the start of summer and good times to come.
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