Today Is …
Day of Joy of the Ennead and crew of Ra.
Egyptian/Kemetic: Festival of the Ennead, the second day of the high festivals which honors the nine “old gods”, and the boat of Ra, the Sun god, which maintained cosmic order by sailing each day and night through the sky and the underworld. Greek: The 2nd day of each month is sacred to the Agathos Daimon, the “Good Spirit” (roughly equivalent to a combination of the Will and the guardian angel of each person).
The old Pagan custom of “carrying death away” is carried out in certain regions of Germany on this day. In celebration of Winter’s demise, special straw dolls are burned in sacred bonfires or “drowned” in sacred wells.
French Battle of Flowers. Cover your altar in beautiful Spring flowers today.
Thirteenth Outside/Sizdeh Bedar – On the thirteenth day after Persian New Year (Spring Equinox), Persians leave their homes before dawn and stay outside all day. All of the greenery of the holiday is removed—the budding branches, the yellowing sprouts. It is considered unlucky to leave them inside as they might offer the devil a hiding place. It is understood that on this day, the spirits will have the run of the house in return for leaving the family alone the rest of the year. According to Elizabeth Luard this helps speed their spirits towards heaven.
The sabzeh, the dish of sprouted seeds, which appeared on the No Rooz table, is taken along and thrown into a running stream or over a garden wall. This is said to rid the home of the evil eye and “divs” or demons. The sprouted seed dishes are similar to gardens of Adonis, an ancient custom still part of Italian Good Friday celebrations.
The mandated day spent outdoors is similar to other spring holidays when people are encouraged to spend the day in the open air: Easter Monday and Maimuna. Luard describes people packing tables, chairs, carpets, cushions, silverware, plates, glasses, portable stoves and richly woven carpets and heading out to the hills. They take along a pot of golden rice pilaf, eggs for making omelets, yogurt which is cooled in the streams, freshly baked bread wrapped in cloth, sherbets, pastries and ices, plus coffee and tea to be made in the open air, using the fire and the samovar.
When dusk falls, the carpets are rolled out and people relax under the stars. Candles are lit, each one representing a death or a birth in the previous year. Luard writes: “Newlyweds look for portents—the call of a night-bird seven times repeated, seven white flowers shining under the moon, a piece of bread torn into seven pieces—that speak of a new candle to be lit, a new infant to be born, and doubly blessed if conceived under the dome of heaven.”
On the thirteenth day after Persian New Year (Spring Equinox), Persians leave their homes before dawn and stay outside all day. It is considered unlucky to stay inside. On this day, the spirits romp in the empty houses with an understanding they will leave the family alone the rest of the year.
The sabzeh, the dish of sprouted seeds, which appeared on the Nawruz table (see Mar 20), is taken along and thrown into a running stream or over a garden wall. This is said to rid the home of the evil eye and “divs” or demons. The rest of the day is spent outdoors in celebration: dancing and singing, drinking and eating.
The sprouted seed dishes are similar to gardens of Adonis, an ancient custom that is still part of Italian Good Friday celebrations. And the mandated day outdoors suggests other festivals with mandated time outdoors like Lag B’Omer, the Jewish festival in the middle of counting the Omer (May 11 this year), Easter Monday (see Apr 1) and Maimuna (see Apr 8).
Luard, Elizabeth, Sacred Food, Chicago Review Press
Rufus, Anneli, The World Holiday Book, Harper San Francisco 1994
St. Urban – According to Reginald Scot, in The Discovery of Witchcraft, written in 1584, superstitious maidens hung up some of their hair before a picture of St Urban, because they believed the rest of their hair would then grow long and golden.
Kightly, Charles, The Perpetual Almanack of Folklore, Thames & Hudson 1987
Remember the ancient ways and keep them sacred!
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Courtesy of GrannyMoonsMorningFeast