Today is the first day of Uttarayan, the 6-month season which lasts from January 14 to July 14 in India.
The festivals that celebrate the changing of the season go by many names in India. Makar Sankranti, Pongal, Lohri, and so on. They coincide with January 13th/14th in the Gregorian calendar.
The reason why Makar Sankranti is celebrated more than any other is that it marks the day the Sun starts moving north and the auspicious …Read more
January 14 Pongal – Day 1
Day One of Pongal is called Bhogi or Bogi, and is dedicated to the storm god Indra. Indra is the leader of the Devas–the gods and celestial beings that watch over the heavens and control the elements–such as wind, fire, rain, and air. Indra’s weapon is the thunderbolt. In that way he is similar to the Norse Thor, though his status is higher. Indeed, Indra is the subject of roughly 250 hymns and stories …Read more
In Punjab, January marks a lull in the winter wheat harvest. Farmers plant wheat in October and harvest the crops in March or April. By January the wheat has sprung up and farmers rejoice in anticipation of a bountiful harvest.
The traditional Indian calendar has twelve months and two seasons: Uttarayan (January 14 to July 14) and Dakshinayana (July 14 to January 14). Today is Lohri, the last day of Dakshinayana, considered winter …Read more
2nd Monday in October
This weekend I shared something with my one year-old niece: our first Canadian Thanksgiving. She was born just after Thanksgiving last year.
The most glaring difference I’ve noticed between Thanksgiving in the U.S. and in Canada is that Canadian Thanksgiving is on a Monday. Other than that, it’s pretty much the same.
In the process of celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving, I have learned a few other things about our Canuck brethren and sisteren.
1. Conservatives …Read more
Second Monday of October
Newfoundland and Nova Scotia each lay claim to Thanksgiving celebrations even older than the Pilgrims of Massachusetts.
English navigator Martin Frobisher enjoyed a Thanksgiving meal on Baffin Island in 1578, and Samuel de Champlain established an “Order of Good Cheer” in 1606, after most of his men died out the previous winter from scurvy and malnutrition.
But according to Robert Ruby, author of An Unknown Shore: The Lost History of England’s …Read more
Vernal Equinox – on or around September 21 (Northern Hemisphere) “Blessed be, by the Lady and the Lord, on this Mea’n Fo’mhair. It is the time of the second harvest, one of fruit and wine abundance. Tonight holds equilibrium of all things. Everything is in balance with one another. God and Goddess, Life and Death, Light and Dark.” Immortal Boundaries, Aubrey Jones
References to the Welsh god Mabon ap Mydron (Mabon, Son of Modron, or ‘Great Son of the Great …Read more
September 12, 2011
The Mid-Autumn Festival is known as Eighth Moon because it falls of the full moon of the eighth month. It’s also known as Mooncake Day, because billions of mooncakes are prepared for this holiday. (Though billions aren’t necessarily eaten. It’s more like the Chinese holiday fruitcake.)
For generations, moon cakes have been made with sweet fillings of nuts, mashed red beans, lotus-seed paste or Chinese dates, wrapped in a pastry. Sometimes a cooked egg yolk can be …Read more
July 31-August 1
Book of Hours, August
Today is Lughnasadh! Not to be confused with Lasagna Day. That was July 29.
Also known by its more Christian name, Lammas, aka “Loaf-mas”, Lughnasadh marked the time of year villagers would celebrate the first Harvest, on or around August 1, by baking and sharing bread from the first grain of the season.
Lughnasadh is a cross-quarter day—days that fall directly between equinoxes and solstices—the others being Imbolc (Candlemas), Beltane …Read more