Seasons of the Witch – Legends and Lore, Ancient Holidays And Some Not So Ancient!
Today Is …
Feast of Father Sky – Honoring God as Obatala (Yoruba/Santeria), Ouranos (Greek), Svarog (Slavic), Thor (Norse), Taranis (Celtic), Dyaus (Hindu).
The Irish festival, “Puck Faire” begins today! Celebrating Robin Goodfellow, a forest sprite.Celtic Puck Fertility Festival. On this day, an Irish fertility festival known as the Puck Fair begins. The medieval-style festival, which pays homage to the mischievous sprite Robin Goodfellow, continues for three consecutive days.
Day Dedicated to Kista, Persian Moon Goddess. Pray to Her for the women of Iran/Iraq.
Oddudua, the “Mother of all Gods”, is honored on this day by followers of the Santeria religion in Africa and South America.
Festival Of Happy Feet.
USA: National Cheer Up A Lonely Individual Day.
August 11 Chung Yuan, Moon of the Hungry Ghosts – The Chinese honor the dead on the fifteenth day (full moon) of the 7th lunar month. At twilight, boys light lanterns made of lotus leaves (with candles inserted in the deep hollow of the leaf so they make a beautiful glow through the green leaf) and go through the streets singing:
Lotus-leaf candles! Lotus-leaf candles! Today you are lighted. Tomorrow thrown away.
Another decoration, called an Artemisia lantern, is made from Artemisia plants which are rolled into ropes of glutinous incense and lit, so they gleam like moving fireflies (from the description I would guess these are much like braided sweet grass). Merchants decorate their shops with colored paper cut-outs of lotus blossoms, lotus leaves, flower baskets, herons and egrets, which they call lotus-flower lanterns.
Special customs help out spirits who are homeless, who have no descendants to pray for them, or who drowned and therefore have no resting place. In Buddhist temples, people make “a boat of Buddhist law,” sometimes thirty or forty feet long, out of paper, which will carry them across the sea of want, hunger, thirst and torment and enable them to reach Nirvana.
The boat is burned in the evening. Li-Chen notes that this festival was made popular by Amogha Vajra who came to china from northern India in 719. Each Buddhist temple forms a Yu Lan society which lights lanterns and recites sutras for the wandering souls. Offerings are set out with different kinds fruit, which were said to nurture virtue. In Peking, people went to the Grand Canal to watch the members of one Yu Lan Society perform various entertainments, like stilt walking or lion dances. During the evening, lanterns were lit and set adrift on the waters, while people walked along the banks carrying lotus lanterns. Li-chen, Tun, translated by Derk Bodde, Annual Customs and Festivals in Peking, Peking: Henri Vetch 1936
August 11-13 Games of Lugh, Peak of Perseids – The Perseid meteor showers peak on this night. Unfortunately this year, because the moon is full, the best to view them will be earlier in the month. For more information on meteor watching. The ancient Celts may have associated them with the light-bearing god Lugh, who is honored at Lughnasad (August 1)., since he is a hero-warrior like the Greek Perseus.
The Irish also called the Perseids “St Lawrence’s Tears,” perhaps indicating that the story of St Lawrence’s trial by fire is a later rendition of the myth of Lugh.One of the stars in the Perseus constellation is Algol, also called the Goron or Medusa. To the Arabs, it was the Demon Star; the Hebrews as Lilith. It was considered an unfortunate, violent and dangerous star by ancient astrologers. Helen Farias points out that both Medusa, who Perseus beheaded, and Balor, who Lugh killed by stabbing his one fiery eye, were described as having malevolent or dangerous eyes. Allen, Richard Hinckley, Star Names: Their Lore and Meaning, Dover 1963 Byrd, Deborah, “Tonight’s Sky,” for July 17 & July 24, 2003, www.earthsky.com Farias, Helen, Harvest Mysteries, unpublished manuscript in my collection
August 11 Dog Days end – This end of the ominous period associated with great heat and danger (see Tisha B’Av (August 7) and Dog Days (July 2).
August 11 St Attracta – What a great name! She was an Irish saint–the Celtic version of her name is Araght–who lived in the fifth or sixth century. Attwater is coy about what miracles she performed saying only that they were surprising. Attwater, Donald, Dictionary of Saints, Penguin 1965
GrannyMoon’s Morning Feast Archives Remember the ancient ways and keep them sacred!
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