To all my readers. I hope you have a good festive season - the one of your choice:
Take your pick:
- Summer Solstice - for the truly celestially driven seasonally aware amongst you.
- Yule (or Juul) for the Old Germanic and Norse traditionalists amongst you.
- Saturnalia a genuine agrarian celebration, for the Old Romans amongst you (for the lead up to the Solstice) and then, to complete the set, the Dies Natalis Solis Invicti or birthday of Sol Invictus, once the lengthening of the days is clearly measurable, on December 25 (said to be the most authentic link to the date for "Christmas").
- Hanukkah, although a celebration of the re-dedication of the Temple, after the Maccabean Revolt, is also a Festival of Lights, associated with the kindling of the lights on the Hanukkah Menorah.
Christmas (which has nothing to do with Santa Claus), but which is hugely commercially important to the modern Western retail-driven economy.
- And that comment brings me around to the "Bah! Humbug!" season, made famous by Charles Dickens, courtesy of his character Ebenezer Scrooge.
All these festivals on or around the Winter Solstice (in the Northern Hemisphere - which is the home of the dominant world cultures) is no co-incidence.
They all are linked to the re-birth of the Sun, the lengthening of the days, the sun bringing life to the earth and the plants and animals, of course.
We Southern Hemisphericals are a bit "out of it" of course, for our seasons are reversed, but our cultural traditions mostly come from the Old World seasons.
By the way, if you are a Malabar Christian, from Kerala in India, you have probably celebrated St. Thomas' Day on December 21. Good for you.
If you are from Mexico or Guatemala, you might have wanted to celebrate the "Flying Men Dance".
With five blokes up a wooden pole 100 feet high,
this is far and away the most spectacular
of the "Celebrations of New Life" I have come across.
|Flying Men on Pole dance. Source: Spyridoula Della Photography|
You can see more interesting photos
as these guys wind themselves down the pole,
but those photos are copyrighted.
You can find them here yourself, for free.
And if all those celebrations are not enough for you, you can then go into the Twelve Days of Christmas, which also have some familiar paganic echoes.
In the words of the famous Irish comedian, Dave Allen, "Goodnight, thank you, and may your God go with you".
By the way, I wish to thank my good friend George for the conversation today which has sparked this seasonal Posting.