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Festivals in April

 
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Azjah
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:18 pm    Post subject: Festivals in April Reply with quote

All Fool?s Day: As guests file into the April banquet hall, trumpets start a magnificent fanfare, but end it with a crashing o fpan covers. Servitors wear their hats and costumes backward. Others carrying empty trays walk backward. Standing near the high table is a man dressed in black, wearing a tall pointed hat adorned with figures of stars and the moon. He snatches flames from the air. He discovers butterflies in his sleeve. He makes the dog sing. A chain?s locked links spring apart at his touch. This magician saws a beautiful young woman in two.

The April world is upside down. Things are not what they seem. Elegant order is turned topsy-turvy. The results are hilarious. All Fool?s Day is a splendid celebration of the ridiculous.

The Lord of Misrule, Motley and Whiddershins. Instead of a noble lord or lady presiding at the high table, the chair of honor is reserved for the jester. He is the Lord of Misrule. Dressed in a fool?s costume of many colors, called motley he wears a long, floppy pointed hat with bells at its tip. He carries a scepter topped with a small head, which also wears a belled fool?s cap.

Servitors perform their jobs backward. The least important tables are served first, the high table last. Bows are not made toward people, but away from them. People write notes in mirror writing, starting at the right side of the page with letters moving left. The Surveyor?s announcements are reversed. ?Fanfare a play will now musicians!? he solemnly declares. The festivities all take place in reverse order, which is called whiddershins.

There is sense to all this nonsense. All Fool?s Day reminds merrymakers that rules are sometimes uncomfortable for us to follow, but disorder is disastrous. Things may seem difficult, but if the world were turned upside down, they would be even worse. After the ludicrous amusements of All Fool?s Day, people willingly turn their attentions forward and deal with the restraints of life right side up.
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Alais d Nitesong
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 5:39 pm    Post subject: April - Sun deities Reply with quote

The sun is universally celebrated in Celtic lore, though specifically solar deities are rare.

The symbols of wheel and triskel echo the rolling motion of the sun through the sky and it is significant that egg or cheese rolling customs still abound at Easter time.

Solar diadems and helmets have been excavated, pointing to a solar cult.

The Irish deities Lugh, Aine, and Brighid all have solar aspects to their cult, as do the British deities Beli, Lleu and Sul.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 5:41 pm    Post subject: April - Cutios Reply with quote

In the Gaulish calendrical tablet, the Coligny Calendar, the month of March - April was called Cutios.

The time of winds.

In Northern Ireland, the first nine days of April were called 'the Borrowed Days' because March is said to borrow nine days from April, three to fleece the blackbird, three to punish the stone chat, three days for the grey cow.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 5:42 pm    Post subject: April - 3 Things Reply with quote

Three things that come unbidden:

Fear

Jealousy

Love
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 5:46 pm    Post subject: April - Crane Bag Reply with quote

Made of the enchanted crane skin of the faery woman Aoife, the Crane Bag was a receptacle for many wonder-working treasures; the shirt and knife of Manannan, the girdle and hook of Goibniu the smith, the King of Scotland's shears, the King of Lochlainn's helmet, the bones of Asal's pigs.

These seven objects could only be discovered at high tide, at low tide, the Crane Bag would appear empty.

Equipped with these objects the owner possessed miraculous powers which would see him through the world.

Made by Manannan, it came briefly into mortal hands, including those of Fionn Mac Cumhail, before returning to Mananna again.

The Crane Bag is one of many sacred objects or hallows which are the object of guest and adventure.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 5:48 pm    Post subject: April - Nehelenia Reply with quote

Nehelenia was a Celtic Goddess, venerated on both sides of the North Sea, in Britain and Holland.

She is the matron of sea-farers and travellers, and her name means 'the Steerswoman'.

She is depicted accompanied by a dog, and with marine imagery such as a prow, oar, or ship's rope.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 5:51 pm    Post subject: April - Transmigration of Souls Reply with quote

The transmigration of the soul is clearly seen in Celtic lore; the life of the body is not the end of the soul, which is understood to take other forms successively.

Cormac's Glossary speaks of the tuirgen or circuit of births which the soul passes through; 'the birth that passes from every nature into another; a transitory birth which has traversed all nature from Adam and goes through every wonderful time down to the world's doom, giving the nature of one life."
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 5:55 pm    Post subject: April - Afanc Reply with quote

The Afanc was a legendary monster that lived in Llyn Llion and lurked in the Welsh imagination as Nessie does in Loch Ness, and the Scottish mind.

It was believed to be a giant beaver which was responsible for the overflow of the lake.

The legendary hero, Hu Gadarn, harnessed two horned oxen to pull it out of the lake,.

These oxen appear to be cosmological beasts, and appear in many Welsh poems as the planetary companions and helpers of heroes who overcome magical enchantments which plague the land.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 5:57 pm    Post subject: April - Giamonios Reply with quote

In the Gaulish calendrical tablet, the Coligny Calendar, the month of April - May was called Giamonios, or 'shoots-show' as Spring passes into early summer.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:01 pm    Post subject: April 29 May Eve Reply with quote

One of Lludd's tasks is to discover what makes a terrible scream each May-Eve, rendering infertile his kingdom.

He discovers that the cause is two warring dragons.

By finding the middle of the land, at Rhydychen (Oxford) and luring them into a chest when they fall to rest, he captures them and is able to bury them in Snowdonia.

These same dragons are those which are later released by Merlin when Vortigern attempted to build a tower over their burial place.

They signify the energy of the land and are abroad at Beltaine; only a worthy monarch can utilize their power in a safe way.

Their release coincides with the coming of the Pendragon clan.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:05 pm    Post subject: April - Taliesin Reply with quote

This is the day on which the great poet Taliesin is washed into Gwyddno's weir and found by Elphin.

As the boy, Gwion, he tends Ceridwen's cauldron of knowledge until his accidently splashes its liquor on his finger and received all knowledge.

He flees as a hare, a fish, a bird, and a grain of wheat, to be pursued by Ceridwen as a greyhound, an otter and a hwak.

As a hen, she eats Taliesin as a grain of wheat and he is reborn of her womb.

He is the primary chief poet of the Island of Britain and enters the service of Elphin and then Arthur, with whom he enters Annwn in the ship Prydwen.

The glorious festival of Beltane has come; everyone remains wakeful to welcome in the May and to greet the dawn with songs of joy.
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