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Festivals in March

 
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Azjah
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:16 pm    Post subject: Festivals in March Reply with quote

An Easter festival hall is decorated with evergreenery, spring flowers, and on one side, a huge golden disk representing the sun. On the opposite wall is an equally brilliant silvery moon. Medieval Easter is as variable as the sun and the phases of the moon. It is a moveable feast in terms of quality and in time. It is solemn yet jolly, pious yet irreverent, restrained, yet full of frolic. Easter commemorates the most profound religious mysteries and the simplest human urge toward light and warmth.

Easter almost never occurs on the same day twice. In fact, medieval Easter is not a day, but an astonishing 120 day cycle of feasts and fasts. Easter Sunday is simply the central day. Easter begins nine weeks before Easter Sunday on the holiday called Septuagesima. Easter ends eight weeks after Easter Sunday on Trinity Day. Easter Sunday is moveable in the calendar. Sometimes it is as early as March 22 or as late as Aril 23. Timing of Easter Sunday depends on the full moon of the spring equinox. Easter Sunday is the first Sunday after. Everything else in the seventeen week Easter cycle is calculated forward or backward from that full moon day.

The sun is equally important at Easter. The holiday is named after the pagan Goddess of the Dawn and of Spring. Eostre. Easter rejoices in the sun?s rising in the sky, bringing light and day. Easter especially revels in the ascending spring sun?s warm triumph over the cold death of winter. Naturally the Christian meanings of Easter fit perfectly. The Son?s rising to Heaven brings the light of understanding and promises the day of salvation. His shining victory is over dark death.

Remarkable events in the 120 day Easter cycle take place in the churches. In homes and castles on each of these days particular foods and ceremonies are customary. But, when Eleanor of Aquitaine came to England to be its Queen and an eager, learned courtier tried to explain all 120 days of local Easter customs at once, she stamped her foot and said, ?Tell me what is particularly Easterly.? The answer: pace egging, morris dances and mystery plays.

Easter foods and ciders are served, including roast lamb, apple fritters, and tansy cake.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 5:02 pm    Post subject: March 2 Crows Reply with quote

The utterance and movements of crows were regarded as phrophetic, as in this Scottish weather rhyme:

On the first of March
The crows begin to search;
By the first of April,
They are sitting still;
By the first of May
They're all flown away;
Crowping greedy back again,
With October's wind and rain.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 5:05 pm    Post subject: March 6 Eriu Reply with quote

Eriu was the De Danaan goddess who gave her name to Ireland.

When the Milesians invaded Ireland, she and sisters Banba and Fotla were each petitioned by Amairgin, the Milesian poet to help the Sons of Mil.

He promised each goddess that her name would be the name given to the Island, but it is Eriu's name that is now used.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 5:07 pm    Post subject: March Wednesdays Reply with quote

In Wales, Wednesday was considered to be a 'witch day' on which it was advisable to avoid any new enterprise or it would go astray.

Finger and toe nails were pared on this day.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 5:10 pm    Post subject: March 10 S Reply with quote

In the Irish tree alphabet, the letter S is represented by salle, the white willow which is the original willow to North West Europe.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 5:16 pm    Post subject: March - Picts Reply with quote

The Picts were a Celtic people living in Scotland. Among the Gaels, they called them the Cruitne. Among the Brythons, the Priteni. It was the Romans who nicknamed them Picti, or 'the Painted People'.

They were so called because of their custom of tattooing their bodies with cruths or shapes. Cruithne was said to have settled Scotland with his seven chidlren, after whom the regions of Scotland are still named. Cat of Caithness, Ce of Marr, and Buchan, Cirech of Angus and Mearns, Fiobh of Fife, Moireabh of Moray, Fotla of Atholl, and Fortriu of Strathearn.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 5:18 pm    Post subject: March - Ogronios Reply with quote

In the Gaulish calendrical tablet, the Coligny Calendar, the month of February-March was called Ogronios, or 'the time of ice'.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 5:20 pm    Post subject: March - Breasil Reply with quote

Breasil, the High King of the other world lived in the farthest western ocean upon an island called Hy-Breasil.

A thirteenth century Genoese cartographer mistook it for the southwest of Ierland.

Renaissance explorers of the New World believed they had found the fabled land, which is why Brazil has an Irish name to this day.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 5:24 pm    Post subject: March - Alban Eiler Reply with quote

The spring equinox is called Alban Eiler, or The Light of the Earth among the reformed orders of druidry.

It marks the mid-point between the sun's least and strongest appearance at Midwinter and Midsummer, respectively.

Now the sun is welcomed with glad heart, for its lancing rays awaken the seemingly dead earth to new life and signals the ending of the long, cold winter.

In this Scots Gaelic chant to welcome the sun, the female gender is retained, for the feminine sun is common to the earliest beliefs of North West Europe.

Welcome to you, sun of the season's turning.
In your circuit of the high heavens;
Strong are your steps on the unfurled heights,
Glad Mother are you to the constellations.

You sink down into the ocean of want,
Without defeat and without scathe;
You rise up on the peaceful wave
Like a queen in her maidenhood's flower.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 5:27 pm    Post subject: March - Pillar stone Reply with quote

Every Celtic tribe seems to have set up a pillar-stone or venerated a sacred tree in the middle of its tribal lands.

This pillar or tree acted as a landmark and a locus of power, as a rallying point for tribal assembly, to be treated with honour and kept from the depredations of enemies.

Many tree customs still practised today ae remnants of such venerations.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 5:30 pm    Post subject: March - Geasa Reply with quote

Geasa or prohibitions were entwined with the destiny and lifestyle of many prominant Celtic figures; these could not be broken without threatening their life.

Some kings and heroes were often crippled by such geasa, as was King Conaire whose nine geasa included not being able to go deosil round his own palace of Tara, nor leave it for more than nine nights.

The bonds of the geasa, though restrictive in many ways seem to have maintained important boundaries between worldly and otherworldly realms.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 5:33 pm    Post subject: March - Hospitality Reply with quote

Hospitality was considered to be a primary celtic virtue.

Whoever ate at your table was as a kinsman, his life inviolate.

To receive a guest as a sacred trust is the advice of the monastic Book of Cerne:

I saw a stranger yestre'en,
I put food in the eating place,
drink in the drinking place,
music in the listening place,
and in the sacred name of the Triune,
He blessed myself and my house,
my cattle and my dear ones,
and the lark said in her song
often, often, often goes Christ
in the stranger's guise.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 5:35 pm    Post subject: March - N Reply with quote

In the Irish Tree Alphabet, the letter N is represented by nuin or ash.
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