Festivals in February
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#1: Festivals in February Author: AzjahCan Be Found: Palazzo Drachen Walde PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:15 pm
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February

St. Valentine?s Day feast is centered around rare roast beef in golden pastry, and roasted chestnuts and cream. Celebrants expect to be in the mood for love. These holiday meats and fruits are special foods of love.

Decorations in the hall are love lanterns. Costumes have love ornaments called love-knot jewelry and love sleeves. Music stimulates amorous ideas. Entertainments pair people with one another for ritual courtship. Games such as Lady Anne and King William require selecting a partner who represents the mate for marrying. Love poems, love letters and love plays also honor St. Valentine.

Love Lanterns and fragrant decorations in the hall are required. One smells them before seeing the lanterns. Gorgeous fragrances come from rosemary, basil, marjoram, yarrow and bay leaves. Crushed herbs float on rose water in small bowls. Candles have spices in the wax and release odors as they burn, and not far from the high table, an incense burner swings with the fresh sweet smell of laurel and pine.

Love lanterns give a soft, gentle light. These are vegetable candle holders, resembling Halloween jack o lanterns. They are large, hollowed out turnips or similar firm vegetables or fruits. A smiling face is cut through the skin, piercing to the now empty center. A thick candle is set inside and lighted.

Love knot jewelry and the crowned A. A guest wears at least one love token. A usual piece of jewelry is a small metal pin worn at the collar or over the heart called a love-knot. It is shaped like the number 9 resting on its side. It represents the perfection of an affection without beginning and without end. When made of gold, the metal never tarnishes, and therefore never ?dies?, it signifies eternal love.

Another woven gold emblem of love is the crowned A, usually worn on the chest, or as a metal clasp for a cloak, a capital A is topped by royal crown. This stands for the famous Latin tribute to Love?s power, Amor vincit omnia.

Love sleeves are costume decorations. They are removable and on Valentine?s Day, many a lover wears the distinctive sleeve belonging to his or her favorite friend. This tradition gave rise to the expression, ?He wears his heart on his sleeve.?

Wearing the heart is having a red heart cut from fabric or enameled onto metal and sewn or pinned onto the front of a garment. It is a sign that the wearer is devoted to Love.

Love music is called The Chivaree. Guests file into the banquet hall to the sound of stimulating music. The melodies and rhythms are designed to lift the spirits and create the mood for love. The chivaree resembles the music for a wedding feast. Musicians play stirring horn melodies with a strong beat, like a march tempo, with increases in intensity of sounds. It is meant to arouse listeners to a thrill of pleasure.

Foods of love. Various meats, fish, birds, eggs, vegetables, fruits, spices and wines are thought to stimulate affection. Peacock is elegantly served. It is roasted and then re-feathered, with camphor and cotton in its mouth set ablaze, it appears to breath fire. Roasted partridge and stewed quail also quicken the Valentine emotions. At least one feast dish must be made of eggs, and not only chicken eggs. Other birds? eggs are sensual to eat, particularly those from geese, pheasant, quail, and sparrow.

Fruits that have seeds are important foods of love. Apples have been associated with love since the Biblical Garden of Eden. Sweet pears are the favorite of the goddess Venus, and every Valentine table serves those abundantly seedy fruits, figs and pomegranates.

Delicate red and purple cakes are important feast fare. Plum shuttles are long, finger length oval cakes made with purple plums, currants and caraway seeds. They resemble the shuttles that weavers use to guide the threads through the warp and weft of cloth. The cakes signify the ?weaving? of love into the ?fabric? of life.

Small, heart shaped cakes are made with a red fruit, such as cherries, plums or pomegranates. Feasters eat these to celebrate ?heartfelt? feeling.

#2: February - Imbolc Author: AzjahCan Be Found: Palazzo Drachen Walde PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 8:45 pm
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Imbolc

"As the light lengthens, so the cold strengthens," goes the old saying. The stark coldness of February seems winter locked until we see the emerging tips of snowdrops to hearld the return of Spring.

As the lengthening shafts of sunlight pierce the earch all growing things puts forth shoots, buds, begin to open and flowers bloom in great variety.

The season of Imbolc encompasses the sprouting period of young growth when we emerge from the introspection of winter to the fresh hope of spring.

Imbolc heralds the opening of the second quarter of the year. This season is under the aegis of the Irish Goddess Brighid; she is of the Tuatha de Danaan and inherits the mantle of Danu, the ancestress of the Celtic people.

Brighid has three aspects, being a matron of healing, smithcraft and poetry.

This festival coincides with the birth of lambs and the lactation of ewes, which underlies the meaning of hte word Imbolc.

Brighid is one of the most important bridging figures between Pagan and Christian Celtic traditions, acting as foster mother to Christ in many legends.

As the Cailleach had hardened the earth with her hammer at the beginning of Samhain, so Brighid was believed to make it soft again with her white wand, with which she awoke the growth as the following chant makes clear...

Bride dipped her finger in the river
on the Feast day of Bride.
And away went the hatching
mother of the cold;
She washed the palms of her
hands in the river
on the Feast Day of Patrick,
And away went the conceiving mother of the cold

#3: February 2 Candlemas Author: AzjahCan Be Found: Palazzo Drachen Walde PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 3:58 pm
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The Chrisitian festival of Candlemas celebrates the coming of Mary into the Temple, accoridng to the Jewish laws of purification.

The Eastern Orthodox world celebrated this feast from the 6th century and it was later adopted by the Western Church.

Candles are brought into church and blessed to celebrate the epiphany of the sacred light.

Legend tells how St. Brigit was instrumental in helping the Holy Family escape from the depredations of Herod's soldiers.

As Mary, Jesus and Joseph were passing by on their way into Egypt, Herod's soldiers came into view.. Brigit speedily made a crown of candles and capered ecstatically to attract the soldiers' attention.

This day was officially the end of the Christmas season when all greenery and decorations were to be taken down.

#4: February 2 Candlemas Author: AzjahCan Be Found: Palazzo Drachen Walde PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 3:58 pm
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The Chrisitian festival of Candlemas celebrates the coming of Mary into the Temple, accoridng to the Jewish laws of purification.

The Eastern Orthodox world celebrated this feast from the 6th century and it was later adopted by the Western Church.

Candles are brought into church and blessed to celebrate the epiphany of the sacred light.

Legend tells how St. Brigit was instrumental in helping the Holy Family escape from the depredations of Herod's soldiers.

As Mary, Jesus and Joseph were passing by on their way into Egypt, Herod's soldiers came into view.. Brigit speedily made a crown of candles and capered ecstatically to attract the soldiers' attention.

This day was officially the end of the Christmas season when all greenery and decorations were to be taken down.

#5: February 4 B Author: AzjahCan Be Found: Palazzo Drachen Walde PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 4:00 pm
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The letter B is represented by beith or birch in the Irish tree alphabet.

This tree, which stands as the first letter of the ogham alphabet is also the first tree to emerge from the glacial ice when vegetation grows after an ice age.

#6: February 7 Dagda Author: AzjahCan Be Found: Palazzo Drachen Walde PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 4:04 pm
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The Dagda, also called Eochaid Ollathair, is the father of the Irish gods, the Tuatha de Danaan.

He held the cauldron of hospitality from which no one retired unsatisfied.

As Ruad Rofessa, the Lord of Great Knowledge, he is venerated as the supreme God of Druidry.

His magical, four sided harp, was attuned to his voice, and sang praises in his honour.

#7: February 9 Well of Slaine Author: AzjahCan Be Found: Palazzo Drachen Walde PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 4:08 pm
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The Well of Slaine, or Health was used by the Tuatha de Danaan to revive the wounded during their battle against the Fomorians.

The healing god, Diancecht, and his children sang theraputic incantations over the waters and the warriors, after submerging in the well, would emerge with their wounds whole.

Many Celtic stories speak of cauldrons of healing which reivie both the sick and the ddead. It is a feature which recurs in the medieval Grail legends where the Grail heals both the Waste Land and the Wounded King.

#8: February 10 Origin of Faeries Author: AzjahCan Be Found: Palazzo Drachen Walde PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 4:13 pm
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A Gaelic legend about the origins of faeries tells how, at the creation, Lucifer led his rebellious angels out of heaven and that, because of the gates were open, many other angels flew out also.

The archangels called to the Lord, 'the heavenly city is being emptied'.

So the Father ordered the gates to be shut, and ordered that all that were in to stay in, and all that were out to stay out.

However, those of the angelic host who had inadvertantly fallen out, but who were not part of Lucifer's host had no place to go, and these became the faery folk.

#9: February 12 Wolf Month Author: AzjahCan Be Found: Palazzo Drachen Walde PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 4:29 pm
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The Storm Days, or 'Wolf Month' are the first days when Spring is come, but Winter still has its hold upon the land.

The different forms of winds which usher in the Spring are given distinctive names:

Month of Faoilleach - a sharp and ravening wind.

Nine days of Gearrain - a galloping wind.

A week of Feadaig - a sharp and piping wind.

A week of Caillich - a week of static calm

Three days of Sguabaig - a soughing blast which ushers in Spring

#10: February 13 Anagantios Author: AzjahCan Be Found: Palazzo Drachen Walde PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 4:31 pm
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In the Gaulish calendrical tablet, the Coligny Calendar, the month of January-February was called Anagantios, or "Stay at Home time" since it was usually impossible to go far due to weather conditions.

#11: February 18 Awen Author: AzjahCan Be Found: Palazzo Drachen Walde PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 4:37 pm
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Awen or Imbas were the respective Welsh and Irish words for inspiration.

Throughout Celtic literature, we hear of the three drops of inspiration which issue from a caudlron or salmon of knowledge, which brings the recipient wisdom.

The awen remains a symbol of reformed druidry, showing the three drops of inspiration with a radiant pathway issueing from each drop: each pathway is said to represent the three functions of bard, ovate, and druid.

#12: February 20 Nine Waves Author: AzjahCan Be Found: Palazzo Drachen Walde PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 4:42 pm
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Birth customs in the west of Scotland entailed the newborn child being passed three times across the fire, then carried three times around it, always sunwise of course.

Lastly the child was washed in a bowl into which a gold or silver coin had first been put.

The following prayer was then spoken by the knee woman or midwife when a child was born and acted as an informal baptism.

In Celtic tradition, the ninth wave was the official demarcation beyond which exile was prescribed.

The nine waves with which the child are here blessed perhaps represent the coming into incarnation of a new soul.

Prayer of the Nine Waves.

A little wave for your form,
A little wave for your voice,
A little wave for your speaking.
A little wave for your life's share,
A little wave for your giving.
A little wave for your dowry,
A little wave for your wealth.
A little wave for your life's time,
A little wave for your healing.
Nine waves of grace upon your.
Waves of the Doctor of salvation.

#13: February 22 L Author: AzjahCan Be Found: Palazzo Drachen Walde PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 4:46 pm
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In the Irish Tree Alphabet, the letter L is represented by luis, or rowan.

The rowan or mountain ash has the reputation of being a powerful tree; both to repel enchantment and in man magical preparations.

#14: February 22 L Author: AzjahCan Be Found: Palazzo Drachen Walde PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 4:48 pm
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In the Irish Tree Alphabet, the letter L is represented by luis, or rowan.

The rowan or mountain ash has the reputation of being a powerful tree; both to repel enchantment and in man magical preparations.

#15: February Enchantment Author: AzjahCan Be Found: Palazzo Drachen Walde PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 4:52 pm
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Punishment by enchantment into animal shape is found in both Pagan and Christian Celtic tradition.

Math ap Mathonwy causes his nephews Gwydion and Gilfaethwy to be turned into deer, pigs and wolves for a period of a year at a time; Gilfaethwy is justly turned into the female of each species for his rape of Math's virgin footholder, and Gwydion becomes the male of the species for his part in arranging the rape.

Both are forced to cohabit with each other, and a child is born of each union until Math disenchants them.

St. Columba turned the queen and son of King Aedh into cranes because they were at variance.


Last edited by Azjah on Sat Sep 06, 2008 4:56 pm; edited 1 time in total

#16: February 28 F Author: AzjahCan Be Found: Palazzo Drachen Walde PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 4:54 pm
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In the Irish Tree Alphabet, the letter F is represented by fearn or alder.

In the legendary Cad Goddeau or Battle of the Trees, it is described as the tree 'of pre-eminent lineage'.



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