A discussion forum for history enthusiasts everywhere
 
HomeHome  Recent ActivityRecent Activity  RegisterRegister  Log inLog in  SearchSearch  

Share | 
 

 Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
AuthorMessage
Meles meles
Censura
Meles meles

Posts : 4157
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : Pyrénées-Orientales, France

Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons Empty
PostSubject: Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons   Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons EmptyTue 11 Feb 2020, 11:19

Just over a week ago, on 2 February, it was Candlemas in the Western Christian calender, the anniversary of the newly-born Christ being presented at the temple of Jerusalem, although in the Catholic tradition it has subsequently become especially associated with the veneration of the Virgin Mary. In France, called Chandeleur, the day marks the end of the 40-day Christmas cycle and so Christmas decorations are finally removed (unlike in England when they are traditionally taken down on Twelfth Night or the start of Epiphany, 6 January). I had a meal of savoury crêpes and sweet pancakes with my neighbours, this being the traditional meal for Chandeleur (with the batter stirred while holding a coin in the left hand to impart good luck for the year ahead) and very nice they were too, washed down with cider, which, rather than wine, is the usual drink to accompany pancakes.

The date was also the occasion for my commune, Arles-sur-Tech, to celebrate its annual Bear Festival, la Fête de l'Ours, or in Catalan, la Festa de l'Ós.

According to popular belief bears comes out of hibernation on Candlemas and, just like the actions of Pennsylvania's Punxsutawney Phil on Groundhog Day (also Candlemas, 2 February) it is believed that the emerging bears can forecast the weather. If the bear thinks spring will be late in coming, it returns to its cave and hibernates an additional 40 days. Accordingly the bear festival is a tentatively hopeful celebration of the start of spring and the renewel of life. But it also has deeper elements reflecting the opposition between nature and culture, and between animality and humanity. However interestingly, despite these themes, and the overall message of order and civillisation triumphing over nature and base desires, the festival has absolutely no religious aspect at all neither in the charaters or in their words or actions. Since at least the 15th century the festival was always held on Candlemas (it has only recently been shifted to the next nearest Sunday for practical reasons) but the original timing was probably just an attempt by the church to recover and control a very much older pagan celebration. Indeed in the 17th and 18th centuries the church tried to supress the whole thing.

In local myth bears coming out of the rigours of winter hibernation, as well as forecasting the weather, were thought to be particularly attracted to young women, who they tried to abduct to their lairs and rape. Such forced coupling was, according to some versions of the story, how Jean de l'Ours, the hero of a French folktale of the same name, was conceived (other versions have him being abandoned and raised by a bear in a manner similar to Romulus and Remus). In the Pyrenees bears were viewed, not only as the lords of the forest and so rivals to human domination, but also inherently semi-human. Bears, unlike all other native animals, can walk upright (and they do so on the flat of their feet and not on their toes like cats, dogs, horses etc), they can manipulate things with their hands, their eyes are in the front of their face, they are omnivorous, and they have a very human-like appreciation for sweet foods such as fruits and honey.

Accordingly the local Bear Festival centers around the newly awakened bear, and the hunt for him by the villagers who are led by Pigass, a hunter, who uses his own wife, Rosetta, as a lure.

At the start of the events Pigass gives his speech rallying the village hunters and then they all set off down to the woods by the river (accompanied, as you do when on a bear hunt, by a band of musicians). The bear is eventually flushed out from his hiding place and this gives rise to a chase through the streets of the town, sometimes with the bear in the lead, sometimes with him in in pursuit. With the aid of the village hunters and two other groups of characters - the Bótes the the Tortugues, whose role is to distract the bear and block his escape - the bear is cornered and subdued. Pigass gives a speach proclaiming what a great hunter he is and announcing 'Victoria!' - except the bear then escapes while everyone is celebrating, and so the chase resumes. This happens several times at places throughout the town until the bear is eventually trapped in the central square. Here he is subdued, tamed, humiliated and finally symbolically shaved with an axe, whereupon his head is removed and he metamorphoses into a real man, to finally join the concluding dance with everyone in the village while the communal wine flask (a Catalan porron) is freely passed around.

That's our version of the festival. With its stock characters; its traditional speeches and responses (in Catalan); its mock fights and comedy balcony scene in which Rosetta (always played by a stocky bloke in a blond wig) sometimes seems to prefer the bear over Pigass and his ungallant use of her as bait; its hammy acting, slap-stick comedy, lewd jokes and cross-dressing; and with the bear having a permanent silly grin on his papier-maché head ... it all rather resembles a pantomime.



The two neighbouring towns also have bear festivals, that at Prats-de-Mollo was last Sunday (9 February) while the last one at St Laurent-de-Cerdans is next weekend - but theirs are both rather different. That at Prats in particular is rather darker, literally, and rougher. Prats has three 'bears' - men dressed in sheepskins with cylindrical fur hats and with their faces and hands blackened with oil and soot - and since they try and embrace women in the crowd or grapple with the men, everyone usually ends up with sooty marks and so it's best not to wear your best clothes.

Here one of the 'bears' at Prats-de-Mollo closes in on his better-dressed prey:

Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons Ours-prats

Meanwhile the bear at St. Laurent is made from a real snarling bear's head which, carried on a man's shoulders, results in a fearsome character towering over everyone else ... 

Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons Ours-laurent

... although in the end he too, like the bears in all three villages, eventually gets subdued, shaved and his inner man released.

These bear festivals now only exist our three villages in the Haut-Vallespir valley, although there is still a considerable cult folklore associated with bears throughout the Pyrenees and there is certainly a thriving bear cult in parts of Romania, Germany and Poland amongst other places.

But there must be many other regions throughout the world with their own, very special spring traditions, rites and festivals.


Last edited by Meles meles on Thu 20 Feb 2020, 16:47; edited 4 times in total (Reason for editing : changed title)
Back to top Go down
LadyinRetirement
Censura
LadyinRetirement

Posts : 2592
Join date : 2013-09-16
Location : North-West Midlands, England

Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons Empty
PostSubject: Re: Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons   Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons EmptyTue 11 Feb 2020, 14:02

I hadn't heard of the Bear festival, MM, though I have been thinking about Candlemas Day.  I need to write some pieces for shorthand dictation (I'd already done some before Christmas but they were on the computer that was stolen and I hadn't backed up my work to memory stick or external hard drive).  So I've been thinking about things I can waffle on about and had thought about festivals in February including Candlemas Day and St Valentine's (though the latter is a means to separate folk from their hard earned cash as much as function as a feast day in the 21st century I feel).

I read an Alfred Duggan historical novel some years ago called "Winter Quarters".  It starts off in the Pyrenees.  One of the two main characters kills a bear which was trying to kill his girlfriend but it transpires his girlfriend was staked out as an offering to the goddess Pyrene.  There is some tut-tutting in the village as to whether the bear was Pyrene herself in bear form.  Anyway, the character involved fears he has incurred the wrath of the goddess and the rest of the events in the book could be interpreted as the person having offended the goddess.  Of course a person believing such superstitions would be prone to making interpretations like that.  I wonder if AD had done research on the cult of the Bear in the Pyrenees in bygone times in preparation for writing his novel.

In Bolivia and Peru there is a celebration of the "Virgen de la Candelaria" in February (the fourth festival mentioned in the linked article https://www.chimuadventures.com/blog/2015/12/south-americas-top-5-most-inspiring-cultural-festivals/  It sounds as if it is a variation on Candlemas Day so not a different rite per se and of course in that part of South America it wouldn't be spring would it, being south of the Equator.


Last edited by LadyinRetirement on Tue 25 Feb 2020, 11:14; edited 1 time in total
Back to top Go down
Meles meles
Censura
Meles meles

Posts : 4157
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : Pyrénées-Orientales, France

Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons Empty
PostSubject: Re: Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons   Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons EmptyFri 14 Feb 2020, 08:42

In contrast to the rough and tumble of the Vallespir Bear Festivals, I came across this enchanting tradition which was covered by a photo feature in the Guardian: the Bird Wedding, or ‘Vogelhochzeit’ in German, or ‘Ptaci kwas’ in the local Sorbian language.

The Sorbs are a slavic minority mostly living across the east German states of Saxony and Brandenburg, and across into the Lower Silesian and Lubusz provinces of western Poland. The Sorbian language is related to Polish and Czech, and they have their own distinctive traditions. One of their unique customs is the so-called Bird Wedding celebrated annually on 25 January which is the day when supposedly all the birds get married. In the evening before children place an empty bowl or plate on the windowsill and on the 25th they receive sweets and cakes, supposedly brought by the birds themselves from their  wedding feast. This of course happens secretly overnight and as with gifts from Santa Claus, a naughty child  might just get a piece of coal. The traditional sweets are often in the shape of birds or made to resemble a nest with eggs. 

Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons Vogelhochzeit-1

Then on the 25th children act out the birds' wedding, with kindergarten-age children dressing up as birds and slightly older ones dressing to resemble newlyweds in a traditional Sorbian wedding, with the girls dressed as brides all in white and carrying bouquets and the boys as grooms in dark suits and with top hats.

Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons V4158

So as well as getting sweet treats the children also get a sort of lesson about the-birds-and-the-bees and an explanation of how the hedgerows will soon be filled by baby birds.


Last edited by Meles meles on Thu 20 Feb 2020, 09:34; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typos)
Back to top Go down
Meles meles
Censura
Meles meles

Posts : 4157
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : Pyrénées-Orientales, France

Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons Empty
PostSubject: Re: Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons   Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons EmptySat 15 Feb 2020, 19:29

If in Sorbia the birds get married on 25 January, in Slovenia they are said to get engaged on Valentine's Day, 14 February. In Slovenia St Valentine is known as the first spring saint "Valentin- prvi spomladin" as his feast day is often taken to mark the first day of spring when work in the fields, orchards and vineyards starts.

This association of St Valentine with avian romance may akso have once been prevalent in England. Geoffrey Chaucer in the 'Parliament of Fowls' (1382) written to honour the first anniversary of the engagement of fifteen-year-old King Richard II of England to fifteen-year-old Anne of Bohemia, wrote:

For this was on seynt Volantynys day
Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make
Of euery kynde that men thinke may
And that so heuge a noyse gan they make
That erthe & eyr & tre & euery lake
So ful was that onethe was there space
For me to stonde, so ful was al the place.

In modern English:

For this was on Saint Valentine's Day
When every bird comes there to choose his match
Of every kind that men may think of,
And that so huge a noise they began to make
That earth and air and tree and every lake
Was so full, that not easily was there space
For me to stand—so full was all the place.
Back to top Go down
nordmann
Nobiles Barbariæ
nordmann

Posts : 6838
Join date : 2011-12-25

Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons Empty
PostSubject: Re: Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons   Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons EmptyMon 17 Feb 2020, 08:24

In Ireland February 1st appears in the religious calendar as "Lá Fhéile Bríde" (St Brigid's Feast Day), but this expression for the day only overtook "Imbolg" as recently as the 18th century. The feast of Imbolg ("from within the sheep's womb") is mentioned in some of Ireland's most ancient written records, it being one of the great four feasts that pre-dated Christianity and remained until very recent times of far greater import in rural Ireland, even for Christians, than Christmas or Easter.

How it is celebrated has also changed significantly over the millennia, and nowadays is a very muted affair that might involve lighting a candle in one's window (or in the local church), and only in some very rural areas still involve a trip to the local holy well. The candle however is a vestige of when this was the "hearth festival", and even in my grandmother's time was still an occasion to ensure a good hearth was lit (despite one's poverty) and to invite friends and neighbours around to share a meal in its glow. Outside the domestic hearth the more public tradition of a communal pilgrimage to a well to make offerings was also a vestige of when the day paid honour to the "earth and the sea", which was recorded in Connacht in the 1700s to involve ritual pouring of milk into the soil and the casting of porridge into the ocean in coastal areas (I'm all for that one!).

The gist of the festival, whether pagan or Christian, has always been to mark the advent of Spring and the recruitment of whichever god one fancied to give a hand in ensuring that everything stayed "on the up" for the rest of the growing season. Divination was always a huge element (portents such as bird flight and weather conditions on the day carried much more weight than normal), and even today those who subscribe to such notions place a higher value on predictions and forecasts made on that day, be it by the local priest or "Madame X" in her tent.
Back to top Go down
https://reshistorica.forumotion.com
LadyinRetirement
Censura
LadyinRetirement

Posts : 2592
Join date : 2013-09-16
Location : North-West Midlands, England

Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons Empty
PostSubject: Re: Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons   Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons EmptyMon 17 Feb 2020, 09:58

That sounds more subdued than the ancient festival you mentioned last year where they bumped off the oldsters, nordmann.
Back to top Go down
nordmann
Nobiles Barbariæ
nordmann

Posts : 6838
Join date : 2011-12-25

Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons Empty
PostSubject: Re: Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons   Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons EmptyMon 17 Feb 2020, 10:07

@LadyinRetirement wrote:
That sounds more subdued than the ancient festival you mentioned last year where they bumped off the oldsters, nordmann.

The need for old people to make the ultimate sacrifice so that Lúgh can appropriate enough of the harvest from the Crom Dubh and at least the younger members of society might hopefully make it to spring doesn't apply in February. It's heading into the winter when that becomes a logical and necessary ritual (or, as the UK government might now deem it - an "unfortunate" feature of the "big society"). At least the Gaelic Irish only celebrated Lúghnasadh once a year.
Back to top Go down
https://reshistorica.forumotion.com
Meles meles
Censura
Meles meles

Posts : 4157
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : Pyrénées-Orientales, France

Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons Empty
PostSubject: Re: Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons   Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons EmptyThu 20 Feb 2020, 09:20

@nordmann wrote:
In Ireland February 1st appears in the religious calendar as "Lá Fhéile Bríde" (St Brigid's Feast Day), .... nowadays is a very muted affair that might involve lighting a candle in one's window (or in the local church), and only in some very rural areas still involve a trip to the local holy well. The candle however is a vestige of when this was the "hearth festival", and even in my grandmother's time was still an occasion to ensure a good hearth was lit (despite one's poverty) and to invite friends and neighbours around to share a meal in its glow ... The gist of the festival, whether pagan or Christian, has always been to mark the advent of Spring and the recruitment of whichever god one fancied to give a hand in ensuring that everything stayed "on the up" for the rest of the growing season.

Yes I can well understand the church wanting to appropriate an older Spring festival, with all its attendant pleas for a productive and fecund year ahead, by cleverly morphing the "hearth festival" into a Candle festival, although the whole "I am the light of the world" theme seems rather too obviously contrived to me. But how then did it shift from being about Jesus to become a veneration of the Virgin Mary? In the western Christian tradition Candlemas 2nd February commemorates the presentation of Jesus at the Temple. Certainly by Jewish tradition (Leviticus 12) after the birth of a child a woman was to be purified by presenting lamb as a burnt offering, and either a young pigeon or dove as sin offering, 33 days after a boy's circumcision, but the Catholic church, by making the day the 'Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary', rather takes the emphasis away from baby Jesus. It was the son of God's first big public event, yet it has now become very much all about his mother. Shouldn't we be lighting pigeons rather than candles?  silent

Anyhow, as we are now approaching Ash Wednesday, we're into Carnival season, when authority often turns a blind eye to a certain degree of decadence and boistrousness after the confines of Winter and before the 40 days of enforced pious austerity and abstinence of Lent. Those held in Venice or Rio de Janeiro are well known, but there must be many local variations. I like the all the doggy characters in this one in the Czech town of Roztoky (picture from The Guardian):

Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons Carnival
Back to top Go down
nordmann
Nobiles Barbariæ
nordmann

Posts : 6838
Join date : 2011-12-25

Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons Empty
PostSubject: Re: Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons   Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons EmptyThu 20 Feb 2020, 10:28

@Meles meles wrote:
But how then did it shift from being about Jesus to become a veneration of the Virgin Mary?

In Ireland this has always been especially true - Mary traditionally attracted much more obvious veneration as a "personable god" than the Jesus character in the pantheon. If one looks at the older Celtic deities that preceded Christianity the explanation for this seems obvious - in the old pantheon the male gods, though powerful, were capricious and often untrustworthy. The females however tended towards benevolence and dependability, Mary and Brigid seemingly inheriting this public trust right from the outset. Iserninus, who the Irish probably should recognise as having pre-dated Patrick and was probably responsible for a large chunk of early conversions, has a huge link with Mary - churches in areas that are traditionally linked to his field of operations favour Mary as patron more than any other more conventional Christian saint, and this might indicate that Iserninus knew not to mess too much with people's expectations and traditions when introducing this new-fangled pantheon to the masses (pardon the pun).
Back to top Go down
https://reshistorica.forumotion.com
LadyinRetirement
Censura
LadyinRetirement

Posts : 2592
Join date : 2013-09-16
Location : North-West Midlands, England

Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons Empty
PostSubject: Re: Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons   Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons EmptyThu 20 Feb 2020, 11:21

This website mentions pre-Christian Romans lighting candles to Februa (not dissociated with Lupercalia - which I'm sure has been mentioned on this site before).  www.angelfire.com/de/poetry/Holy_Days/feb.html

I suppose "beating the bounds" (as in boundaries) is a spring festival but I guess it's a moot point whether it's "unusual". https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beating_the_bounds
Back to top Go down
Meles meles
Censura
Meles meles

Posts : 4157
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : Pyrénées-Orientales, France

Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons Empty
PostSubject: Re: Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons   Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons EmptyThu 20 Feb 2020, 12:19

I'm not quite sure why I put "unusual", LiR, other than I was thinking along the lines of oddities and interesting local variations that differ from the 'standard' round of Shrove Tuesday, Easter, Mothers' Day, etc. I've now modified the title and also made it applicable for festivals and traditions throughout the whole year as I expect they'll be some quirky, locally-important, summer and autumn festivals coming up as the year proceeds.

The history and whole raison d'être of beating the bounds is interesting ... though I'm never quite sure if originally it was the village boundaries or the village children that were subject to the beating.
Back to top Go down
Meles meles
Censura
Meles meles

Posts : 4157
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : Pyrénées-Orientales, France

Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons Empty
PostSubject: Re: Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons   Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons EmptyTue 25 Feb 2020, 10:34

Yesterday, February 24th, was Dragobete in Romania, a festival associated with love and the arrival of spring, and yet again the day "when birds get betrothed". Dragobete was the son of Baba Dochia, and she is the main character in the myths related to spring's arrival. Dagobete, due to his endless kindness, was chosen by Virgin Mary to be the Guardian of Love. Accordingly on this day young men and women go off into the woods to - ahem - gather spring flowers, and then engage in a game of kiss-chase back to the villages. Married women have to touch a male stranger for good luck, and any man who annoys a woman will have bad luck for the rest of the year.
Back to top Go down
LadyinRetirement
Censura
LadyinRetirement

Posts : 2592
Join date : 2013-09-16
Location : North-West Midlands, England

Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons Empty
PostSubject: Re: Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons   Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons EmptyTue 25 Feb 2020, 11:12

So pagan myths intertwine with Christianity again - Mary and Dagobete.  Many years ago I heard a version of the "Wedding of the Birds" folksong in English but I can't find an example (or exactly remember the translation after all these years).  Here are some German school children singing it in the original tongue.  Alas, my German (one year of night school in the early 1970s working through "Deutsches Leben Teil 1") isn't up to providing a translation. Is Dagobete related to Dragobert (I recall the name Dr------t from the Holy Blood, Holy Grail hoax) or is it a co-incidence?


Last edited by LadyinRetirement on Sun 01 Mar 2020, 17:07; edited 1 time in total
Back to top Go down
LadyinRetirement
Censura
LadyinRetirement

Posts : 2592
Join date : 2013-09-16
Location : North-West Midlands, England

Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons Empty
PostSubject: Re: Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons   Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons EmptySun 01 Mar 2020, 09:25

I'm sure that St David's Day (1st March) has been discussed in other threads in the past.  There will be  bunches of daffodils on sale I'm sure even though I don't live in Wales (I'm sure you all know St David is the patron saint of Wales) and maybe a few pictures of dragons will make an appearance.  Can MM rustle up a St David's Day recipe, I wonder.
Back to top Go down
Nielsen
Triumviratus Rei Publicae Constituendae
Nielsen

Posts : 515
Join date : 2011-12-31
Location : Denmark

Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons Empty
PostSubject: Re: Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons   Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons EmptySun 01 Mar 2020, 09:56

@LadyinRetirement wrote:
... Is Dagobete related to Dragobert (I recall the name Dr------t from the Holy Blood, Holy Grail hoax) or is it a co-incidence?
Without having seen or heard the attached youtube, I'd suggest that 'Dagobert' in contemporary German language probably refer to the person of Dagobert Duck whose English alias is Scrooge McDuck. Take a look at wiki the persons bear widely different names in the various languages.

How does this connotation sound to you?
Back to top Go down
Vizzer
Censura
Vizzer

Posts : 1232
Join date : 2012-05-12

Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons Empty
PostSubject: Re: Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons   Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons EmptySun 01 Mar 2020, 15:14

@LadyinRetirement wrote:
I'm sure that St David's Day (1st March) has been discussed in other threads in the past.  There will be  bunches of daffodils on sale I'm sure even though I don't live in Wales (I'm sure you all know St David is the patron saint of Wales) and maybe a few pictures of dragons will make an appearance.  Can MM rustle up a St David's Day recipe, I wonder.

Maybe he deserves a break. Besides, Meles already gave a St David's Day Welsh rabbit (rarebit) entry on the Don't Say Cheese thread a couple of years ago. That said - today is indeed a significant St David's Day, LiR, as it's the 900th anniversary of his canonisation by Pope Callistus II in 1120.
Back to top Go down
Meles meles
Censura
Meles meles

Posts : 4157
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : Pyrénées-Orientales, France

Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons Empty
PostSubject: Re: Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons   Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons EmptySun 01 Mar 2020, 15:47

Cawl, or cawl Cymreig (a stew of leeks, potatoes, swedes, carrots and other seasonal vegetables, nowadays with lamb, but salt bacon or beef is more historically correct), is probably more the Welsh national dish. Or there's bara brith (a fruity/spicy loaf), or crempog (an oaty buttermilk pancake), or laverbread (made with seaweed), or Glamorgan sausage (a breadcrumbed sausage made of Caerphilly cheese), or Welsh cakes, picau ar y maen (spicy griddle-baked shortbreads).
Back to top Go down
LadyinRetirement
Censura
LadyinRetirement

Posts : 2592
Join date : 2013-09-16
Location : North-West Midlands, England

Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons Empty
PostSubject: Re: Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons   Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons EmptySun 01 Mar 2020, 17:16

Nielsen, I don't know if Dagobete features in the song on the YouTube; I was thinking of the Dagobete mentioned by MM in the Romanian feast, but I probably didn't explain things clearly.

Vizzer, maybe MM does deserve a rest.

I didn't attend the Ash Wednesday service this year but when I have in the past the ashes have always been placed on the forehead.  Today I was running late for the morning service so I went to the 12.15 mass for the Polish community (in Polish but they don't run non-Polish people out of the church).  The  Polish priest gave a blessing of ashes today but I noticed he placed them on the top of the head - so even within one form of the Christian religion there can be variation in the performing of a ceremony.
Back to top Go down
PaulRyckier
Censura
PaulRyckier

Posts : 4226
Join date : 2012-01-01
Location : Belgium

Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons Empty
PostSubject: Re: Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons   Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons EmptyMon 16 Mar 2020, 20:05

LiR, in my time it was also on the forehead in Belgium...a cross...we called it an "assekruis" (an ash cross?)...those Polish ones on the top of the head...that's special...and what as a woman and a bit "hairy" on the head...all that beautyfull hair ruined with that black-gray ashes all over the place...hmm...

Kind regards from Paul.
Back to top Go down
LadyinRetirement
Censura
LadyinRetirement

Posts : 2592
Join date : 2013-09-16
Location : North-West Midlands, England

Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons Empty
PostSubject: Re: Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons   Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons EmptyMon 16 Mar 2020, 21:02

I may have mentioned that St Patrick's feast day and my birthday are tomorrow.  I don't know that there is any special custom other than wearing shamrock as a buttonhole adornment and the St Patrick's Day parades that occur in some places. St Patrick's Day has been looked at extensively on this site in earlier years of course but I didn't know until today that shamrock was edible (or should that be on Dish of the Day).  I doubt I'll eat any shamrock though - I don't know where to get any.  If I could get hold of some gluten free soda farl maybe I could have some of that.  Anyhow, a link to an article in an Irish newspaper treating on shamrock as a foodstuff https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/heritage/eating-and-drinking-the-shamrock-1.1728268
Back to top Go down
Meles meles
Censura
Meles meles

Posts : 4157
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : Pyrénées-Orientales, France

Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons Empty
PostSubject: Re: Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons   Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons EmptyFri 10 Apr 2020, 22:18

It being Good Friday, this evening would usually have seen the torch-lit 'Procession de la Sanch' winding its way through the narrow streets of my neighbouring town, but I assume it has been cancelled this year because of the curfew. However as PPE against covid-19, I reckon the penitents' distinctive hooded and masked robes would be quite effective.

Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons Procession-de-la-sanch-3  Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons Procession-Sanch-3

The brotherhood of 'La Sanch' (the blood) was founded in 1416 by Vincent Ferrier at the church of St Jaques in Perpignan; its origin being to assist and accompany the condemned to their execution. In 1398, Ferrier, stricken by plague, was miraculously cured after Christ appeared to him in an apparition, and he consequently dedicated his life to being a preacher. He led his flock of penitents around Europe, preaching penance and helping sinners to prepare for judgment and punishment.

The wearing of the black and red hooded robes - the capirote in French, coroza in Spanish, or caparutxe in Catalan - derives from it being a symbol of penance: those condemned by the Inquisition had to wear a paper conical hat in public as sign of public humiliation, with the colour conforming to the judgement - those condemned to be executed wore a red capirote, other punishments/crimes had different colours. The brotherhood of the Sanch took to wearing similar hats as they accompanied and gave solace to the condemned on their way to execution, but in their case masked with an all-covering hood to maintain pious anonymity.

The procession on Good Friday of course commemorates the Passion and the Agony of Christ. At the head of the parade walks a red robed figure, 'le regidor', warning of the procession’s approach by intermittently ringing a hand-bell. Behind him are the black-robed penitents carrying a large cross and several 'misteris' - large representations of different scenes of the Passion - who march in silence accompanied only by the steady beat of drums. The Sanch is quite common in Spain, but in France the processions have been banned several times both by secular government and by the Catholic church itself, and they are now only conducted in three towns; Perpignan, Collioure and Arles-sur-Tech (where I am).

Back to top Go down
Meles meles
Censura
Meles meles

Posts : 4157
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : Pyrénées-Orientales, France

Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons Empty
PostSubject: Re: Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons   Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons EmptySat 11 Apr 2020, 11:39

I rather assume the use by the Holy Inquisition of the humiliating conical paper hat for those under investigation or condemnation, is related, if not the origin of the Victorian school's dunce's cap.

Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons Dunce11

Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons Goya-inquisition-tribunal
'The Inquisition Tribunal', by Francisco Goya; circa 1812-19.

Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons Auto-da-f
'Auto-da-fé', by Vesasquez, 1853.

Perhaps also being related to the flagellant movement (14th century and onwards), who flogged themselves to do penance, but, at least in later centuries, often hid their faces because strictly penance could only be performed under control of the church, and so their actions were potentially heretical.

Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons The-Flagellants
'The flagellants', by Pieter van Laer, 1635.
Back to top Go down
Nielsen
Triumviratus Rei Publicae Constituendae
Nielsen

Posts : 515
Join date : 2011-12-31
Location : Denmark

Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons Empty
PostSubject: Re: Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons   Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons EmptySat 11 Apr 2020, 13:06

Apparently my knowledge of traditional lore is weak, but what combine Judeo-Christian Easter traditions with Easter Bunnies and Chocolate Eggs?
Back to top Go down
Vizzer
Censura
Vizzer

Posts : 1232
Join date : 2012-05-12

Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons Empty
PostSubject: Re: Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons   Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons EmptyWed 29 Apr 2020, 22:09

In China April is the month for tomb-sweeping and remembering the dead. To honour ancestors and respect elders is an integral part of traditional Chinese culture. During the Cultural Revolution, however, this ethos was directly subverted by the Mao regime. Between 1966-76, instead of honouring past generations and respecting elders, students and other youngsters were encouraged to desecrate and even destroy cultural artefacts regardless of historical value. Older academics and other members of the intelligentsia were targeted for ritual humiliation and the use of dunce’s caps played a central role in this.    

Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons Dunce-cap-cultural-revolution

Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons AP_670125028-700x420

Attempts by the regime to ban public displays of mourning following the death of premier Chou En-Lai in 1976 (Chou had been decidedly lukewarm about the Cultural Revolution and many of his political supporters had fallen victim to it) saw an unprecedented public backlash against Mao's 'Gang of Four'. The Tiananmen Incident of April effectively marked the end of the Cultural Revolution and Mao's own death in September that year saw the power of the Gang of Four rapidly begin to wane.
Back to top Go down
Triceratops
Censura
Triceratops

Posts : 3849
Join date : 2012-01-05

Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons Empty
PostSubject: Re: Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons   Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons EmptySat 02 May 2020, 14:47

Celebrations for the First of May date back centuries are widespread throughout Europe.

Beltane: excerpt from The Golden Bough J G Frazer:

The Beltane Fires

The fullest of the descriptions is the one bequeathed to us by John Ramsay, laird of Ochtertyre, near Crieff, the patron of Burns and the friend of Sir Walter Scott. He says: “But the most considerable of the Druidical festivals is that of Beltane, or May-day, which was lately observed in some parts of the Highlands with extraordinary ceremonies. … Like the other public worship of the Druids, the Beltane feast seems to have been performed on hills or eminences.

Maypole dance in Llanfyllin, 1st May 1941;

Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons 640px-Llanfyllin_carnival_and_maypole_%287131389767%29

Walpurgisnacht (30 April) in the open air theatre in Heidelberg:

Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons 640px-Thingst%C3%A4tte_Heidelberg_Walpurgisnacht_1

1st May was also selected as International Workers Day.

Union Square in New York, 1st May 1912:

Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons 640px-Socialists_in_Union_Square%2C_N.Y.C.
Back to top Go down
Triceratops
Censura
Triceratops

Posts : 3849
Join date : 2012-01-05

Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons Empty
PostSubject: Re: Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons   Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons EmptySat 02 May 2020, 15:26

Here's one for Gil;

Back to top Go down
nordmann
Nobiles Barbariæ
nordmann

Posts : 6838
Join date : 2011-12-25

Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons Empty
PostSubject: Re: Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons   Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons EmptySat 02 May 2020, 15:33

And of course THE definitive paean to Jack ....

Back to top Go down
https://reshistorica.forumotion.com
Vizzer
Censura
Vizzer

Posts : 1232
Join date : 2012-05-12

Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons Empty
PostSubject: Re: Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons   Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons EmptySat 02 May 2020, 16:36

@Triceratops wrote:
Walpurgisnacht (30 April) in the open air theatre in Heidelberg

On the Tumbleweed Suite at Hallowe’en, Caro mentioned how the darkness at that time of year didn’t make much difference to the atmosphere despite it being Spring in the Southern Hemisphere. Walpurgisnacht would lend credence to this as it’s a sort of German Hallowe’en after all and takes place in the Northern Hemisphere Spring and indeed 6 months (i.e. half a year) equidistant from 31 October. Things which are popularly associated with Hallowe’en are bats and yet by the end of October most of them have begun thinking about migrating south or hibernating. In the British Isles bats tend to be seen in the Spring and Summertime. 3 weeks ago I noticed a pipistrelle patrolling back and forth at dusk on Good Friday which was a sure indication of the turn of the season.
Back to top Go down
LadyinRetirement
Censura
LadyinRetirement

Posts : 2592
Join date : 2013-09-16
Location : North-West Midlands, England

Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons Empty
PostSubject: Re: Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons   Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons EmptySat 02 May 2020, 17:37

Today in my neck of the woods the weather has alternated between periods of overcast skies and sunshine.  I was thinking yesterday when the weather was very dismal that it was hardly dancing round the maypole weather even if the country* hadn't been largely confined to barracks because 
 the Covid-19 crisis.  It's still somewhat 'blowy' at the moment although it is one of the sunny intervals.  Rough winds certainly have been shaking the darling buds of May today (and yesterday).

* I suppose I should more properly say the inhabitants of the country.
Back to top Go down
Meles meles
Censura
Meles meles

Posts : 4157
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : Pyrénées-Orientales, France

Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons Empty
PostSubject: Re: Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons   Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons EmptySat 02 May 2020, 18:37

Well, as the old saying goes: "ne'er cast a clout 'til May is out". But then does that mean until the month of May has ended (ie June) or until the May trees (hawthorns) are in full blossom, or even maybe until they have completely finished flowering? Also remember the 11-day date shift that occurred in September 1752 arising from Britain's belated adoption of the Gregorian calendar. In May 1753 there was a lot of interest to see whether prominent hawthorn trees, such as the Glastonbury Thorn, would flower according to the old 'Protestant' Julian calendar, or to the new 'Popish' Gregorian one.
Back to top Go down
Triceratops
Censura
Triceratops

Posts : 3849
Join date : 2012-01-05

Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons Empty
PostSubject: Re: Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons   Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons EmptySun 03 May 2020, 13:14

The Filipino festival Flores de Mayo lasts the entire month of May:

Flores de Mayo

Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons 640px-Flores_de_Mayo_Ilocos
Back to top Go down
PaulRyckier
Censura
PaulRyckier

Posts : 4226
Join date : 2012-01-01
Location : Belgium

Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons Empty
PostSubject: Re: Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons   Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons EmptySun 03 May 2020, 15:12

@Meles meles wrote:
Well, as the old saying goes: "ne'er cast a clout 'til May is out". But then does that mean until the month of May has ended (ie June) or until the May trees (hawthorns) are in full blossom, or even maybe until they have completely finished flowering? Also remember the 11-day date shift that occurred in September 1752 arising from Britain's belated adoption of the Gregorian calendar. In May 1753 there was a lot of interest to see whether prominent hawthorn trees, such as the Glastonbury Thorn, would flower according to the old 'Protestant' Julian calendar, or to the new 'Popish' Gregorian one.
 
MM, overhere, Dutch speaking part of Belgium, we haven't that much sayings for May...at least that I know...for March and April: "maartse buien, aprilse grillen" (march showers, april whims)
I found for May:
"Mei koel ende nat brengt koren in het vat" (May cool and wet, brings grain in the barrel)
and a rather not saying that much in my opinion: "In Mei leggen alle vogels een ei" (in May lay all birds an egg)
although perhaps not that stupid as it refers to the "broedseizoen" (breeding season) and for the humans...
So I come to one of the oldest Dutch texts about "that" (whatever you call it)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hebban_olla_vogala







Old DutchHebbanollauogalanestashagunnanhinasehicendathuuuatunbidanuuenu?
DutchHebbenallevogelsnestenbegonnen(behalve)ikende/enu/jijwat(ver)beidenwenu?
EnglishHaveallfowls (birds)nestsbegun(except)Iandthouwhatbide (= are waiting for)wenow?
The form hinase corresponds morphologically to Modern Dutch tenzij[5] ("unless", from het en zij) and does not seem to have a Modern English cognate.

Some theories say that it can also be old English, and another: with Moorish influence and another: from female perspective
https://www.entoen.nu/en/hebbanollavogala

Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons Hebbanollavogala.jpg%28mediaclass-landscape-middle.5a6afe68888e307e3c0ef7d4f79d9250bf11020c%29

Kind regards, Paul.
Back to top Go down
Sponsored content




Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons Empty
PostSubject: Re: Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons   Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons Empty

Back to top Go down
 

Festivals and traditions marking the yearly cycle of the seasons

View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 1

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Res Historica History Forum :: The history of people ... :: Customs, traditions, etiquette and ethics-