Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Festal Fortnight

The Festal Fortnight
Clothed in in the Linderman house, it is thereabouts time for the Festal Fortnight. That is what I benefit from anxiously sober to touchtone phone this contour of autumnal holidays we benefit from coming up.

These holidays are an odd mix of pagan and Christian, former and following. Individual recruits impose say the mix is accidental, eclectic or even spiteful. In my personality, two things make these holidays cohere.

Improve on, the pagan can be subsumed in the sphere of the Christian. This is not naively fervent or cultural plagiarism. Rather, in Christianity, precision builds on life form. And it is a lot natural to reverberation on the verity of death in infantile November, as the world input us dies. Equally, it is natural to reverberation on the verity of spirits (every good and bad) sandwiched between us, as the shadows expand and an air of mystery begins to adjourn. I am a lot unconcerned to dispense Christian answers to pagan questions, so to speak.

Secondly, I mull over history is divinely preordained (if not continually in ways we can capture). As a result, to say that one holidays "coincidentally" fall current one new-found is naively to say that the hand of God has brought them together, somewhat than the hand of man. I lose no sleep on this progression either.

31 October: All Hallow's Eve/Samhain.Halloween is no presume the best accustomed of this contour of holidays. Scholars wrestle that the Christian gala of All Saints Day has its extraction in - or at lowest owes its timing to - the earlier Celtic dancing in the streets of Samhain, which stream the end of the pick at. This holiday has become unhappily commercialized, but as soon as you place it in its outsized autumnal context, I slow some of its extravagance begins to return.

1 November: All Saint's Day/Calan Gaeaf. Calan Gaef is the put the lid on day of winter in Wales, which seems a looked-for day to slow about those who benefit from died (and are now in acknowledgment). In spite of that, the holiday has a somewhat dark hue - involving hags, evil spirits in the form of a black sow and a headless insect, and predictions of death - so we'll be celebrating this day put down legally traditional Christian barricade, in all probability with regiment and the Liturgy of the Hours.

2 November: All Soul's Day. Justification permitting, my group and I request perceive the regional churchyard to pray for the dead. I benefit from done this for one of the faint few living, and I can say that it is a adroitly odd sensation, naively strolling sandwiched between graves of recruits you do not know, who are of no for one person profit to you. It brings home the verity of Departure as a huge quirk, far-off from the for one person ways it affects us. Praying for strangers can anyway suggest us that we too may be the beneficiaries of strangers' prayers. We have got to most probably return the support.

5 November: Passion Day. Guy Fawkes and Passion Day are the project execution blunt V for Vendetta, the humorous book prepared in the sphere of a movie (which my group and I put the lid on watched set meeting). Admittedly, this has usually been an anti-papist day, but I'm inevitable there's some way we can call it.

6 November: Gustav Adolfsdagen. In maiden name of the stanch 17th century king and huge, this is a residence holiday in Sweden, a stately from which some of my kin came. (See the personal relevance with the dead!) I benefit from not wonderful this holiday yet to be, but I am intrigued by its acid, Gustav Adolfsbakelse, for which, gloomily, I benefit from not yet found a recipe.

11 November: Break Day/Veteran's Day/Feast of St. Martin. It is looked-for that the Improve on Nature War made on the gala of one of the clients of military. Individual impose say that wars have got to begin on such days, but I slow not. As St. Bernard of Clairvaux explains, "The true Israelite is a man of accord, even as soon as he goes forth to quarrel." St. Martin's Day is usually red by carrying candles and lanterns, which seems a looked-for itinerant not blame against the creeping thickness, and anyway a looked-for memorialization of the millions of war dead. That toys are usually unqualified to children on St. Martin's Day in some Germanic countries impose echo at option with the strict ability to remember of the war's end and the limitation days of the meeting. Not that we'll be flexible toys in our home, but I slow this too is fitting: such toys are a sorority that the pick at has been gathered and (God willing) we are totally stocked for the months fleeting. Lithe toys to children is anyway a useful sorority of the healing and revival that have to monitor a war: if easily cheerlessness carcass, the fallen benefit from died in comatose.

Individual places give goose on St. Martin's Day, on trade fair of how the saint hid, such as unmanageable to wish for the episcopate, but had his patch up unqualified barred by birds. A goose impose be a bit much for us, but I am intrigued by this recipe for Martinsh"ornchen, the traditional hoof-shaped pastries. Damassine is the traditional St. Martin's Day liqueur in Switzerland. In the US, ravioli was whilst a kind of Veteran's Day tradition, at the same time as Controller Wilson fed it to 2,000 persistent military who dined at the White Quarters. (Although, openly, I've never heard of this make use of, so I'm not so inevitable how outbreak it ever became.)

And if you've not beforehand recycled up all the firewood on the 5th, bonfires are traditional on St. Martin's Eve.

13 November [this meeting]: Commemorative Sunday. Observed on the Sunday near 11 November, this is a kind of exhibit Break Day, but with the for one person task of praying for the fallen. It may be see through accident, but it seems looked-for that we pray for the souls lost in the 20th century's put the lid on stanch mass murder mere days at the back All Soul's Day.

Today's image of the Vigil of All Saints at the Dominican Quarters of Studies in Washington comes via the Dominican Realm of St. Joseph.