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Agaliha
April 13th, 2008, 07:06 AM
My goal is to make a thread for each of the holidays that would be of interest here and I'm just about done! Yay. I hope people find these threads helpful?
For the rest see here: Myths & Folklore Thread Directory (http://mysticwicks.com/showthread.php?t=184534)

Anyway, here are some links and as always, discussion and sharing is encouraged!

Other names for festivals around this time:
the Fire Festival, Roodmas, May Day, the Feast of Saint Walpurga, Giamonios, Walpurgisnacht...


Beltane (http://rds.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0oGkiPa4wFIU1oAZvxXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTByZWgwN285BHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDMQRjb2xvA3NrMQR2dGlkAw--/SIG=12659791t/EXP=1208169818/**http%3a//www.druidry.org/obod/festivals/beltane.html)
Beltane history (http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/beltanemayday/p/Beltane_History.htm)
Beltane - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://rds.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0oGki2o4wFIll0Bs0FXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTBydHRjbmRzBHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDMwRjb2xvA3NrMQR2dGlkAw--/SIG=11pdirejc/EXP=1208169768/**http%3a//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beltaine)
Article: Beltane, by Heather Shaw (http://rds.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0oGkjVE5AFI9hIBUwhXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTBydHRjbmRzBHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDMwRjb2xvA3NrMQR2dGlkAw--/SIG=12ekvs4v9/EXP=1208169924/**http%3a//www.strangehorizons.com/2001/20010423/beltane.shtml)
Beltane : Celebrating the Seasons (http://rds.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0oGkjVE5AFI9hIBVQhXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTByN2s4bDgzBHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDNARjb2xvA3NrMQR2dGlkAw--/SIG=129c1h2mn/EXP=1208169924/**http%3a//www.circlesanctuary.org/pholidays/Beltane.html)
DailyOM - Beltane by Raven Grimassi (http://rds.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0oGkkAA.AFIEEQBQT9XNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTBzMmYyOHNoBHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDNTQEY29sbwNzazEEdnRpZAM-/SIG=129e2g551/EXP=1208174976/**http%3a//www.dailyom.com/library/000/000/000000245.html)
Beltane/May Day (http://rds.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0oGkjVE5AFI9hIBXQhXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTByYzByMHM1BHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDOARjb2xvA3NrMQR2dGlkAw--/SIG=11svq8kh1/EXP=1208169924/**http%3a//www.mythinglinks.org/Beltane.html)
A Beltane altar (http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/beltanemayday/p/BeltaneAltar.htm)
May Day (http://www.carnaval.com/mayday/)
May Day - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://rds.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0oGkmS15wFIkmkBlu1XNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTByZWgwN285BHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDMQRjb2xvA3NrMQR2dGlkAw--/SIG=11o24ejth/EXP=1208170805/**http%3a//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/May_Day)Other:

Floralia: The Roman May Day Celebration (http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/beltanemayday/p/Floralia.htm)
Floralia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://rds.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0oGkmhG5wFI5xABg_NXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTByZWgwN285BHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDMQRjb2xvA3NrMQR2dGlkAw--/SIG=11p1r9dgj/EXP=1208170694/**http%3a//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Floralia)
Walpurgis Night (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walpurgis_Night)
German Holidays in May - Walpurgis (http://rds.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0oGkj6U5wFIB0QB0eBXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTByYWZxb2M3BHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDNQRjb2xvA3NrMQR2dGlkAw--/SIG=12e0t0caq/EXP=1208170772/**http%3a//german.about.com/od/holidaysfolkcustoms/a/mai_2.htm)
Roodmas (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roodmas)---also known as "Holy Cross Day" commemorates the finding by Saint Helena of the True Cross in Jerusalem on September 14th in the year 355.
May Crowning (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/May_crowning)--is a traditional Roman Catholic ritual that occurs in the month of May of every year. In some countries, it takes place on or about May 1, however, in many United States Catholic parishes, it takes place on Mother's Day.
Roman May Festivals (http://www.novaroma.org/calendar/maius2.html)
Stories of the Months and Days: Chapter V. May--The Month of Maia (http://rds.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0oGkjrl9gFIR2cAeL5XNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTBzZThtdDU3BHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDMzcEY29sbwNzazEEdnRpZAM-/SIG=122elbll5/EXP=1208174693/**http%3a//www.sacred-texts.com/time/smd/smd07.htm)
Aspects associated with the festival:

Maypole (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maypole)
Flowers
Beltane/Bon fires
Fertility
May baskets
Chalices
Honey, oats, milk
Antlers or horns
Fruit

Swords, lances, arrows
May Queen (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/May_Queen)

In many cultures, there are different legends and lore surrounding Beltane. Here are a few of the stories about this magical spring celebration.

* Like Samhain, the holiday of Beltane is a time when the veil between the worlds is thin. Some traditions believe that this is a good time to contact the spirits, or to interact with the Fae. Be careful, though -- if you visit the Faerie Realm, don't eat the food, our you'll be trapped there, much like Thomas the Rhymer was!
* Some Irish dairy farmers hang a garland of green boughs over their door at Beltane. This will bring them great milk production from their cows during the coming summer.
Also, driving your cattle between two Beltane bonfires helps protect your livestock from disease.
* The pious Puritans were outraged by the debauchery of Beltane celebrations. In fact, they made Maypoles illegal the mid 1600's, and tried to put a halt to the "greenwood marriages" that frequently took place on May Eve. One pastor wrote that if "tenne maiden went to set (celebrate) May, nine of them came home gotten with childe."
* According to a legend in parts of Wales and England, women who are trying to conceive should go out on May Eve -- the last night of April -- and find a "birthing stone", which is a large rock formation with a hole in the center. Walk through the hole, and you will conceive a child that night. If there is nothing like this near you, find a small stone with a hole in the center, and drive a branch of oak or other wood through the hole -- place this charm under your bed to make you fertile.
* If you go out at sunrise on Beltane, take a bowl or jar to gather morning dew. Use the dew to wash your face, and you're guaranteed a perfect complexion. You can also use the dew in ritual as consecrated water, particularly in rituals related to the moon or the goddess Diana or her counterpart, Artemis.
* In the Irish Book of Invasions, it was on Beltane that Patholan, the first settler, arrived on Ireland's shores. May Day was also the date of the defeat of the Tuatha de Danaan by Amergin and the Milesians.
* Babies conceived at Beltane are considered a gift from the gods. They were sometimes referred to as "merry-begots", because the mothers were impregnated during Beltane's merrymaking.
* In Cornwall, it's traditional to decorate your door on May Day with boughs of hawthorn and sycamore.
* Eating a special oatcake called a bannock or a Beltane cake ensured Scottish farmers abundance of their crops for the year. The cakes were baked the night before, and roasted in embers on a stone.
(source (http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/beltanemayday/a/BeltaneFolklore.htm))More to come :)

Brigid Rowan
April 13th, 2008, 07:49 AM
I cant give you karma again so soon..so I'll say thank you for this awesome post here!~hugs~

Agaliha
April 13th, 2008, 07:54 AM
I cant give you karma again so soon..so I'll say thank you for this awesome post here!~hugs~

:hugz:
Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it.
I'll be adding some more links later :)

David19
April 13th, 2008, 06:30 PM
Cool info, thanks for posting it Agaliha :).

Cassie
April 13th, 2008, 06:40 PM
[FONT=Verdana]My goal is to make a thread for each of the holidays that would be of interest here and I'm just about done! Yay. I hope people find these threads helpful?

Your threads are always a mine of information and a first stop when I need to look things up quickly. Thanks for all the time and trouble you take. :hugz:

Agaliha
April 25th, 2008, 10:35 AM
From Ovid's Fasti-- mentions of the goddess Flora.


VI. NON. 2nd

[159] When next Hyperion’s daughter on the steeds of morn shall lift her rosy lamp, and the stars are put to flight, the cold north-west wind will sleek the topmost corn-ears, and white sails will put out from Calabrian waters. But no sooner shall the dusk of twilight lead on the night, than no single part of the whole flock20 (http://www.theoi.com/Text/OvidFasti5.html#20) of the Hyades will be invisible.21 (http://www.theoi.com/Text/OvidFasti5.html#21) The head of the Bull sparkles radiant with seven flames, which the Grecian sailor calls the Hyades after the word for rain (hyein). Some think that they nursed Bacchus; some believe that they are the granddaughters of Tethys and old Ocean. Not yet did Atlas stand bearing the burden of Olympus upon his shoulders when Hyas was born, of loveliness far-seen; to him and to the nymphs did Aethra, of the stock of Ocean, give birth in due time, but Hyas was the elder. While the down was fresh upon his cheeks, he was the terror of the bucks that shied at his snares, and he was glad to bag a hare. But when with his years his manly spirit grew, he dared to close with boars and shaggy lioness, and while he sought out the lair and the whelps of a lioness with young, he himself fell a blood-stained prey to the Libyan brute. For Hyas his mother wept, and for Hyas his sad sisters, and Atlas, soon to bow his neck to the burden of the pole, yet the love of the sisters exceeded that of both parents: it won for them a place in the sky, but Hyas gave them their name (of Hyades).

[183] “Come, Mother of Flowers, that we may honour thee with merry games; last month I put off giving thee thy due. Thou dost being in April and passest into the time of May22 (http://www.theoi.com/Text/OvidFasti5.html#22); the one month claims thee as it flies, the other as it comes. Since the borders of the months are thine and appertain to thee, either of the two is a fitting time to sing thy praises. The games of the circus and the victor’s palm, acclaimed by the spectators, fall in this month; let my song run side by side with the shows in the circus. Tell me thyself who thou art; the opinion of men is fallacious; thou wilt be the best voucher of thine own name.”

[193] So I spoke, and the goddess answered my question thus, and while she spoke, her lips breathed vernal roses: “I who now am called Flora was formerly Chloris: a Greek letter of my name is corrupted in the Latin speech.23 (http://www.theoi.com/Text/OvidFasti5.html#23) Chloris I was, a nymph of the happy fields where, as you have heard, dwelt fortunate men of old. Modesty shrinks from describing my figure; but it procured the hand of a god for my mother’s daughter. ‘Twas spring, and I was roaming; Zephyr caught sight of me: I retired; he pursued and I fled; but he was the stronger, and Boreas had given his brother full right of rape by daring to carry off the prize from the house of Erechtheus.24 (http://www.theoi.com/Text/OvidFasti5.html#24)25 (http://www.theoi.com/Text/OvidFasti5.html#25) Thou, too, Narcissus, hast a name in the trim gardens, unhappy thou in that thou hadst not a double of thyself.26 (http://www.theoi.com/Text/OvidFasti5.html#26) What need to tell of Crocus,27 (http://www.theoi.com/Text/OvidFasti5.html#27) and Attis,28 (http://www.theoi.com/Text/OvidFasti5.html#28) and the son of Cinyras,29 (http://www.theoi.com/Text/OvidFasti5.html#29) from whose wounds by my art doth beauty spring?

However, he made amends for his violence by giving me the name of bride, and in my marriage-bed I have naught to complain of. I enjoy perpetual spring; most buxom is the year ever; ever the tree is clothed with leaves, the ground with pasture. In the fields that are my dower, I have a fruitful garden, fanned by the breeze and watered by a spring of running water. This garden my husband filled with noble flowers and said, ‘Goddess, be queen of flowers.’ Oft did I wish to count the colours in the beds, but could not; the number was past counting. Soon as the dewy rime is shaken from the leaves, and the varied foliage is warmed by the sunbeams, the Hours assemble, clad in dappled weeds, and cull my gifts in light baskets. Straightway the Graces draw near, and twine garlands and wreaths to bind their heavenly hair. I was the first to scatter new seeds among the countless peoples; till then the earth had been of but one colour. I was the first to make a flower out of Therapnaean blood, and on its petals the lament remains inscribed. [229] Mars, too, was brought to birth my contrivance; perhaps you do not know it, and I pray that Jupiter, who thus far knows it not, may never know it. Holy Juno30 (http://www.theoi.com/Text/OvidFasti5.html#30) grieved that Jupiter had not needed her services when Minerva was born without a mother. She went to complain of her husband’s doings to Ocean; tired by the journey, she halted at my door. As soon as I set eyes on her, ‘What brings thee here,’ I said, ‘daughter of Saturn?’ She set forth her journey’s goal, adding its reason. I consoled her with friendly words. ‘My grief,’ quoth she, ‘is not to be assuaged with words. If Jupiter has become a father without the use of a wife, and unites both titles in his single person, why should I despair of becoming a mother without a husband, and of bringing forth without contact with a man, always supposing that I am chaste? I will try all the drugs in the wide world, and I will explore the seas and the depths of Tartarus.’ Her speech would have flowed on, but on my face there was a sudden look of doubt. ‘Thou seemest, nymph,’ said she, ‘the to have some power to help me.’ Thrice did I wish to promise help, but thrice my tongue was tied: the anger of great Jupiter filled me with fear. ‘Help me, I pray,’ she said, ‘the helper’s name will be kept secret, and I will call on the divinity of the Stygian water to be my witness.31 (http://www.theoi.com/Text/OvidFasti5.html#31)’ ‘Thy wish,’ quoth I, ‘will be accomplished by a flower that was sent me from the fields of Olenus. It is the only flower of the kind in my garden.’ He who gave it me said, ‘Touch also with this a barren heifer; she will be a mother.’ I touched, and without delay she was a mother. Straightway I plucked with my thumb the clinging flower and touched Juno, and she conceived when it touched her bosom. And now being with child, she passed to Thrace and left the shores of the Propontis; her wish was granted, and Mars was born. In memory of the birth he owed to me, he said, ‘Do thou also have a place in the city of Romulus.’

[261] “Perhaps you may think that I am queen only of dainty garlands; but my divinity has to do also with the tilled fields. If the crops have blossomed well, the threshing-floor will be piled high; if the vines have blossomed well, there will be wine; if the olive-trees have blossomed well, most buxom will be the year; and the fruitage will be according to the time of blossoming. If once the blossom is nipped, the vetches and beans wither, and thy lentils, O Nile that comest from afar, do likewise wither. Wines also bloom, laboriously stored in great cellars, and a scum covers their surface in the jars. Honey is my gift. ‘Tis I who call the winged creatures, which yield honey, to the violet, and the clover, and the grey thyme. [‘Tis I, too, who discharge the same function when in youthful years spirits run riot and bodies are robust.]”

[275] I silently admired her as she spoke thus. But she said, “Thou art free to learn the answers to any questions thou mayest put.” “Say, goddess,” I replied, “what is the origin of the games.” Scarce had I ended when she answered me. “The other instruments of luxury were not yet in vogue: the rich man owned either cattle or broad lands; hence came the name for rich, and hence the name for money itself.32 (http://www.theoi.com/Text/OvidFasti5.html#32) But already some amassed wealth from unlawful sources: it had become a custom to graze the public pastures, the thing was suffered long, and no penalty was exacted. Common folk had no champion to protect their share in public property; and at last it was deemed the sign of a poor spirit in a man to graze his cattle on his own land. Such licence was brought to the notice of the plebeian aediles, the Publicii33 (http://www.theoi.com/Text/OvidFasti5.html#33); till then men’s hearts had failed them. The case was tried before the people: the guilty were fined: the champions were praised for their public spirit. Part of the fine was given to me; and the winners of the suit instituted new games with great applause. With part of the fine they contracted for making a way up the slope, which then was a steep rock: now it is a serviceable road, and they call it the Publician road.” 34 (http://www.theoi.com/Text/OvidFasti5.html#34)

[295] I had thought that the shows were annual; the goddess denied it and added to her former discourse a second speech. “We, too, are touched by honour; we delight in festivals and altars; we heavenly beings are a greedy gang. Often by sinning has a man disposed the gods against him, and a sacrificial victim has been a sop for crimes. Often have I seen Jupiter, when he was just about to launch his thunderbolts, hold his hand on the receipt of incense. But if we are neglected, we avenge the wrong by heavenly penalties, and our wrath exceeds just bounds. Remember Thestiades35 (http://www.theoi.com/Text/OvidFasti5.html#35): he was burnt by flames afar; the reason was that no fire blazed on Phoebe’s altar. Remember Tantalides36 (http://www.theoi.com/Text/OvidFasti5.html#36): the same goddess detained the fleet; she a virgin, yet she twice avenged her slighted hearths.37 (http://www.theoi.com/Text/OvidFasti5.html#37) Unhappy Hippolytus,38 (http://www.theoi.com/Text/OvidFasti5.html#38)39 (http://www.theoi.com/Text/OvidFasti5.html#39) when thy scared steeds were rending thee asunder! ‘Twere long to tell of cases of forgetfulness redressed by forfeitures. I myself was once neglected by the Roman senate. What was I to do? By what could I show my resentment? What punishment exact for the slight put on me? In my gloom I relinquished my office. I guarded no the countryside, and the fruitful garden was naught to me. The lilies had dropped; you might see the violets withering, and the tendrils of the crimson saffron languishing. Often Zephry said to me, ‘Spoil not thine own dowry.’ But my dowry was worthless in my sight. The olive-trees were in blossom; the wanton winds blighted them: the crops were in blossom; the crop was blasted by the hail: the vines were promising; the sky grew black under the south wind, and the leaves were shaken down by a sudden shower. I did not will it so, nor am I cruel in my anger; but I did not care to ward of these ills. The senate assembled and voted an annual festival to my divinity if the year should prove fruitful. I accepted the vow. The consuls40 (http://www.theoi.com/Text/OvidFasti5.html#40) Laenas and Postumius celebrated the games which had been vowed to me.” fain wouldst thou have worshipped Dione

[331] I was about to ask why these games are marked by greater wantonness and broader jests; but it occurred to me that the divinity is not strait-laced, and that the gifts she brings lend themselves to delights. The brows of wassailers are wreathed with stitched garlands, and the polished table is buried under a shower of roses. Maudlin the guest dances, his hair bound with linden bark, and all unwitting plies the tipsy art. Maudlin the lover sings at the hard threshold of his lady fair: soft garlands crown his perfumed locks. No serious business does he do whose brow is garlanded; no water of the running brook is quaffed by such as twine their hair with flowers: so long s they stream, Achelous, was dashed with no juice of grapes, none cared to pluck the rose.41 (http://www.theoi.com/Text/OvidFasti5.html#41) Bacchus loves flowers; that he delights in a floral crown, you may know from Ariadne’s clustered stars.42 (http://www.theoi.com/Text/OvidFasti5.html#42) A rakish stage fits Flora well; she is not, believe me she is not, to be counted among your buskined goddesses. The reason why a crowd of drabs frequents these games is not hard to discover. She is none of your glum, none of your high-flown ones: she wishes her rites to be open to the common herd; and she warns us to use life’s flower, while it still blooms: for the thorn, she reminds us, is flouted when the roses have fallen away.
[355] But why is it that whereas white robes are given out at the festival of Ceres, Flora is neatly clad in attire of many colours? Is it because the harvest whitens when the ears are ripe, but flowers are of every hue and every shape? She nodded assent and at he motion of her tresses the flowers dropped own, as falls the rose cast by a hand upon a table.

[361] There yet remained the lights, the reason whereof escaped me; when the goddess thus removed my doubts: “Lights are thought to befit my days either because the fields do glow with purple flowers; or because neither flowers nor flames are of a dull colour, and the splendour of both attracts the eye; or because nocturnal licence befits my revels. The third reason comes nearest the truth.”

[369] “There is yet a small matter about which it remains, with thy leave, to put a question.” “thou hast my leave.” Said she. “Why, instead of Libyan lionesses, are unwarlike roes and shy hares pent in thy nets43 (http://www.theoi.com/Text/OvidFasti5.html#43)?” She replied that her province was not woods, but gardens and fields, where no fierce beast may come.

[375] Her tale was ended, and she vanished into thin air. A fragrance lingered; you could know a goddess had been there. That Naso’s lay may bloom for aye, O strew, I pray thee, goddess, thy boons upon my breast!


http://www.theoi.com/Text/OvidFasti5.html#1

Silverfire Darkmoon
April 25th, 2008, 10:58 AM
Why, Agahila, you forgot Morris dancing!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morris_dance
Morrismen the world over will be rising early on May Morning to dance the Sun up and welcome in the summer. It's also the beginning of our touring season.
I'm a dancer in the Cold Barn side, which is a Cotswold tradition doing dances primarily from Bampton and Bledington.
These here are my people: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKllBYyo-jM
My own personal reasoning for dancing on May Morning is that we're making such a Godawful racket with our musicians, bells on shins, sticks, and general merrymaking that Summer, and the Sun, have to wake the hell up and see what all the commotion is about :)
If there's anyone here from Toronto or the GTA, I suggest being in High Park at sunrise on May First. It's quite the spectacle :)

Merrilyn
April 25th, 2008, 11:05 AM
Great thread, thanks! :bigblue:

Agaliha
April 25th, 2008, 11:51 PM
Info about Floralia--


April 28 Floralia begins
The Romans began honored the Sabine goddess of blossoms and spring with six days of celebrations including games, pantomimes, plays and stripteases, which went on into the night illuminated by torchlight. Everyone wore their most colorful clothes and decked themselves and their animals in flowers. Goats and hares were let loose--they represented fertility and sexuality and Venus in her role as patroness of cultivated nature. Small vegetables (one imagines cucumbers and zucchinis) were distributed as fertility tokens. Flora represented the sexual aspect of plants, the attractiveness of the flowers, and was the matron of prostitutes.

Blackburn, Bonnie and Leofranc Holford-Strevens, Oxford Companion to the Year, Oxford University Press, 1999
Rufus, Anneli, The World Holiday Book, Harper San Francisco 1994

Sionnach le Fey
April 26th, 2008, 01:53 PM
Awesome thread :thumbsup: Full of informative goodness! :fpraise:

Agaliha
April 27th, 2008, 05:31 PM
Why, Agahila, you forgot Morris dancing!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morris_dance
Morrismen the world over will be rising early on May Morning to dance the Sun up and welcome in the summer. It's also the beginning of our touring season.
I'm a dancer in the Cold Barn side, which is a Cotswold tradition doing dances primarily from Bampton and Bledington.
These here are my people: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKllBYyo-jM
My own personal reasoning for dancing on May Morning is that we're making such a Godawful racket with our musicians, bells on shins, sticks, and general merrymaking that Summer, and the Sun, have to wake the hell up and see what all the commotion is about :)If there's anyone here from Toronto or the GTA, I suggest being in High Park at sunrise on May First. It's quite the spectacle :)

Thanks for sharing!