Monday, December 20, 2010

Happy Festivus!



A happy and blessed Winter Solstice to all my Pagan friends.

This year, 2010, is a truly remarkable one for readers in the U.K., as a Lunar eclipse and a Winter Solstice are going to coincide for the first time since 1632. 

A once-every-378-year event!  Whooeee! 

For those who are wondering, Winter Solstice (tomorrow, December 21) is the shortest day of the year and the ancient Pagan day of celebration to which Christmas conveniently attaches its sleigh.

What? Christmas is older than Jesus?

Yes, it's true.

In fact, it's older than Judaism as well.

Surely, you did not think the world began with Moses or Jesus? Dinosaurs once roamed your back yard. I promise you this is true.

Winter Solstice is the the darkest day of the year, and Winter Solstice is celebrated as the beginning of the return, or rebirth, of the Sun.

In short, tomorrow is the beginning of the REAL New Year, and it pretty much always has been celebrated as such.

The Roman holiday held at this time of year was called Saturnalia, and it lasted from December 17th to the 24th, with the Winter Solstice itself being (incorrectly) celebrated on December 25th (Sol Invictus) after Julius Caesar introduced the Julian Calendar in 45 B.C.

Groundhog Day, February 2nd, is the halfway point between the true Winter Solstice (December 21) and March 21 (the Spring or Vernal Equinox).

It is not an accident that February 2nd is also 40 days after Christ was born, as in Hebrew tradition mothers were required to purify their children in the temple 40 days after giving birth.

February 2nd then is not only Groundhog Day, but also the "Feast of the Presentation" otherwise known as Candlemas. In the ancient Pagan world, Groundhog Day was known as Imbolc.

So where did the holiday we know as "Groundhog Day" come from? For that story, read the previous blog posts on that topic.

Bottom Line: Today is a great day to celebrate "that old time religion" by going out into field and forest with the dogs.

And yes, all you New Age Pagans should feel perfectly free to call it Festivus.

In fact, please do!



Seinfeld - The Festivus Story

4 comments:

Seahorse said...

On the Winter Solstice I'm prone to maniacal, high-pitched cackling as I sense the slow racheting-back of our sun from Australia. Channeling Goethe, I cry out, "More light, more light!"

Seahorse

Viatecio said...

I should have been paid time and a half for the holiday I worked through.

My very Christian co-worker can take her time off for Christmas. In a different vein, my Jewish professor can wax eloquent about the Hanukah traditions but must take personal time to celebrate them. Were I to take time to celebrate Festivus with my pagan friends, I'd need to use my time off to...in addition to receiving critical stares for not believing in the Dead Guy on A Stick (or Daddy Smitey McSmiteFist from the old testament, whoever you choose). I should be used to this by now, but it always irks me.

We are a land of freedom OF religion and freedom FROM religion? Hardly so.

The Doubtful Guest said...

in addition to receiving critical stares for not believing in the Dead Guy on A Stick (or Daddy Smitey McSmiteFist from the old testament, whoever you choose). I should be used to this by now, but it always irks me.

We nonbelievers put up with a lot of this stuff, and we are expected to Sit Down and Shut Up about it.

Dog forbid we erect billboards calmly stating our views. Those are OFFENSIVE, don't you know?

Then there are the Xtians who think atheists shouldn't get Xmas off, because it's not "our" holiday. Oh, well.

Seahorse said...

"in addition to receiving critical stares for not believing in the Dead Guy on A Stick (or Daddy Smitey McSmiteFist from the old testament, whoever you choose)."

Viatecio, had I been drinking some sort of Festivus grog-product, you'd be owing me for a new computer screen after reading that. I think you just made my entire Kwanzaa!!!

Seahorse :)))