Note: See also the files: fairs-msg, Yule-msg, Candlemas-msg, 12th-nite-msg, Christmas-art, 12th-nite-msg, Holiday-Celeb-lnks, Jewsh-Holiday-art, Halloween-lnks, Spring-Celeb-lnks, Valentnes-Day-msg



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Halloween, Samhain, other Medieval holidays.
NOTE: See also the files: fairs-msg, Yule-msg, Candlemas-msg, 12th-nite-msg, Christmas-art, 12th-nite-msg, Holiday-Celeb-lnks, Jewsh-Holiday-art, Halloween-lnks, Spring-Celeb-lnks, Valentnes-Day-msg.
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From: MS7539 at CONRAD (Stewart, Marie Alston )

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Vampires... Halloween info

Date: 21 Mar 1994 23:31:25 GMT

Organization: APPALACHIAN STATE UNIVERSITY
Greetings all...
Forgive me I do not have the name of the person who posted this

tidbit, but if you are reading this... I would love to see the documentation

for your statement... that... Dressing up at Halloween, All Hallow's,

Samhain... was period....


I beg to differ...
The only proof of customs that I can find are as follows...
1. A proclomation by Queen Elizabeth I stating that the ringing of bells

on Allhallowntide and at Al Souls' Day, with the two nights next before and

after, be prohibited"

From Strype's "Annals of the Reformation"


2. There is also a series of entries in the Heybridge Parish, near Malden

in Essex that calls for a new bell "knapple" clapper and rope "agenste

Hallowmasse." The entry is dated 1517.
3. A book called "The Festyvall" written in 1511... describes the customs

of the day in England and Wales at the time... no mention of costumes is made

However, it does make mention of a custom of baking a cake for each

member of the house... Hence why Halloween is still known in the back waters

of Wales as Cake Day...
4. Also Shakespeare's 2 gentlemen of Verona.. describes the tradition of the

populace to go a-souling... This was when groups would travel from parish

to parish singing and begging soul-cakes... The same cakes as mentioned

above. But there is no mention that it is done in any form of costume...

that is I think there isn't, and drat my copy of the bard is at

the other house... piffle... I'll go look that one up...


5. The peasants in Ireland also went from house to house... collecting food

(apples and nuts, and cakes) The procession is described as carrying torches

and the hill fires were lighted from the torches brought from each houses

hearth. Again no mention of costume... sorry...


6. I also have replicas of wood cuts from the 14-15th centuries showing the

game of bobbing for apples and also of string apples. One of the few modern

parts of Halloween that actually has some mideval roots...
7. The only times that I can find where masks and costumes were popular

are during the Feast of Fools and at the time of Carnival... Neither

festival is near August... so
This brings me to the point of all this... saying that the people

who choose to dress as vampires are just dressing up as they would in the

middle ages for Halloween, is, to me, a weak arguement...

also I have found little proof that dressing as a malignant spirit

was popular... The instances I have found were generally only in morality

plays... so the common person wouldn't be doing it...


On the other hand from what I know of Russian folklore... the average

joe wouldn't go about saying the name of these creatures, let alone dressing

up like one of the damned...
So please, if there is some bit of evidence to the contrary,

enlighten me... After all I am here to learn, and share what I know about

the time.
Also if any vampires are lurking and hope to run into me at

Pensic... rethink that idea...


Sincerely, and hoping to find out more...
The MacLean of Atlantia

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: lynch_c at csvax1.ucc.ie (Conor Lynch (U.C.C. Ireland))

Subject: Re: Vampires... Halloween info

Organization: Computer Science Dept. University College, Cork, Ireland.

Date: Tue, 22 Mar 1994 13:16:24 GMT


In article <1994Mar22.045309.15416 at sol.cs.wmich.edu>, Dale at sol.cs.wmich.edu (Dale Gee) writes:

>In article <2mlaod$3er at lester.appstate.edu> MS7539 at CONRAD (Stewart, Marie Alston ) writes:

>>

>>Forgive me I do not have the name of the person who posted thisI would love



>>to see the documentation for your statement... that... Dressing up at

>>Halloween, All Hallow's, Samhain... was period....

>>

>It said that tradition of wearing a cosutume or a disguise



>came from the middle ages when people thought that all the spirits of the

>nether world rose up and roamed the earth on All Hallows Eve.


>Clynch> The idea of dressing up on the feast of Samhain is as old as the feast

of Samhain itself. The feast predates Christian times by a couple of thousand

years. Therefore it is period although it would not be period to refer to the

festival as Halloween or All Hallows eve.

Samhain in period was much more a pagan festival than it is today or at least

that was the case in Ireland where it formed one point of the yearly cycle of

which there were four; Imbolc, Samhain, Bealtane, Lughnasa

From: tmarsh at utic (Todd Marsh)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Help with Dates of Holidays

Date: 23 Jan 1995 06:06:52 GMT
Rosayln MacGregor of Glen Orchy wrote:

: As to canon vs. civil, I'd be interested in knowing if there were civil

: holidays observed by Elizabethan English people.
One of the popular civil holidays during Elizabeth's reign was the

anniversary of her accession to the throne.


"Her Accession Day, 17 November, began to be celebrated all over the

country with bell-ringing and bonfires, feasts and sermons - and this was

a spontaneous movement, not brought into being by any government

legislation. Indeed, such was its aura, that the day went on being

celebrated long after her death, for more than a century. At the Court

it came to be signalised by the famous Accession Day Tilts, and was an

occaision for popular rejoicing: a secular feast grander than any of 'the

Pope's holydays'."


Quoting from "The Elizabethan Renaissance" by A.L. Rowse,

Charles Scribner's Sons, 1971, LC 70-172948, pg 34.


***************************************************************************

Lord Llywelyn Gruffydd Todd Marsh, MIS Consultant

Ansteorra, Barony of Elfsea tmarsh at utic.unicomp.net

Cadet to Don Robin of Gilwell

From: Jo Lori Drake

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Medieval Holidays?

Date: 26 Apr 1995 19:08:56 GMT

Organization: TASC
There is recently published book on Medieval Holidays:
Hutton, Ronald. Rise and Fall of Merry England: the ritual year

1400-1700. Oxford University Press. 1994


I just checked it out of the library last night. It is limited in

time and geography, but it's got great information on what holdidays

were celebrated at this time period and how they were celebrated.
The author uses primary sources almost exclusively, but writes in

a very lucid, accessible style.


Enjoy!

Rhian Lyth

From: doug_brunner at hp-corvallis.om.hp.com (Doug Brunner)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: History of April Fools' Day?

Date: 13 Feb 1996 01:05:51 GMT

Organization: Hewlett Packard Inkjet Comp. Div.
jeffs at bu.edu (Jeff Suzuki) writes:

> I'm looking for references on the history of April Fools day, All Fools

>Day, a Festival of Fools and related holidays.
Check me, I could be wrong, but -(now there's a lead in). Memory says that

April Fool's Day was once New Years. When either the Church or the King

changed it to January 1, some people still held onto the old ways. These

eventually became known as April Poisson(sp?), or April's Fish, in French.

There are a couple of references. One is "Customs of Mankind", who's author

escapes me , at the moment. The other is something like "Holidays and other

excuses for Merry Making". They're both printed in the earlier part of this

century, but they're very entertaining, if nothing else. You might also

check out some French History.
Bruno vonBrunner

Woods Crafter/ Merchant

The Termite of Shrewsbury

From: jeffs at bu.edu (Jeff Suzuki)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: History of April Fools' Day?

Date: 21 Feb 1996 15:43:20 GMT

Organization: Boston University


Doug Brunner (doug_brunner at hp-corvallis.om.hp.com) wrote:

> Check me, I could be wrong, but -(now there's a lead in). Memory

> says that : April Fool's Day was once New Years. When either the

> Church or the King : changed it to January 1, some people still held

> onto the old ways. These : eventually became known as April

> Poisson(sp?), or April's Fish, in French.


I'd heard the same thing; Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable

gives the following explanation: March 25 (Ladyday) used to be the

first day of the year (it's right after the vernal equinox), and April

1 was the end of the "octave" (presumably, the end of the week) of

celebration of the new year and it was a traditional time to play

tricks on each other.


(In England, the beginning of the year didn't shift until England

switched to the Gregorian calendar, in 1752. This led to some amusing

events, like Shakespeare and Cervantes dying on the same date...eleven

days apart. April Fools, etc., is all tied up with "Thirty Days Hath

September, all the rest I can't remember..." and someday, someday...)
William the Alchymist

From: Mjccmc01 at aol.com

To: ansteorra at eden.com

Date: Mon, 19 Feb 1996

Subject: Re: Mardi Gras (In Elizabethan England)
Mardi Gras, or Shrove Tuesday as it was (and is still) called in the

English-speaking countries, was the festival that was celebrated on the

Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. According to Daily Life In Elizabethan England

by John Singley (a really fabulous, affordable and highly recommended book):


"This holiday was the last day before the fasting season of Lent. On the

Continent, this day was celebrated with wild abandon, reflected in the modern

Mardi Gras. The English version was more subdued but still involved ritual

feasting and violence. (Doesn't this sound like an event?) On this day it

was traditional to eat fritters and pancakes. It was also a day for playing

football (a game much rougher than any of its modern namesakes), and for the

sport of "cockthrashing" or "Cockshys." In cockthrashing, the participants

tied a cock to a stake and threw sticks at it; they payed the owner of the

cock a few pence for each try, and a person who could knock down the cock and

pick it up before the cock regained its feet won the cock as a prize. In

towns, this was often a day for the apprentices to riot; their violence was

often aimed against those who transgressed sexual mores, especially

prostitutes. The two days previous were sometimes called Shrove Monday and

Shrove Sunday."


Aubrey, you may cheerfully ignore that apprentice business.
I believe I can find some information regarding Mardi Gras celebration in

Italy if anyone is interested, but I knew right where this was. Reply if you

interested and I'll try to find it.
Siobhan Ni'Breoghan Fitzlloyd

Have a great Shrove Tuesday and stay away from roosters, apprentices and

prostitutes.

From: Mjccmc01 at aol.com

To: ansteorra at eden.com

Date: Tue, 20 Feb 1996

Subject: Re: Mardi Gras (In Italy, as requested)
In Italy, Mardi Gras, or carnival, as it was called (which is from the Latin

"carne vale,: or farewell to meat, indicating a period of fasting to follow)

was a much more elaborate affair than in England. The custom was to go to the

festivities masked, and as the years progressed the masks grew more and more

elaborate. Originally, this festival was a time to present miracle and

mystery plays; however, as the Renaissance began to grow, the pageants began

to reflect less religious themes, and the pageantry became the sole purpose,

with no pretense made at religious education. In Rome, the custom evolved of

emulating the triumphs of Classical Roman Conquerors, complete with conquered

kings in chains, senators, chariots, wagons loaded with "spoils of war," etc.

In the Carnival of 1500, Cesare Borgia celebrated the triumph of Julius

Caesar (typically subtle).


In Venice, the festivities were no less grand; there are references to being

unable to even see the water for all the decorated boats. Mock tournaments

(horses and all) were held in St. Mark's. Interestingly, Noah was a popular

figure in Venetian decorations.


Florence, however, outshone them all during the Renaissance. Allegorical and

fantastic ceratures paraded through the street. Most of the guilds of the

city were pledged to provide at least ten chariots. Lorenzo de'Medici (The

Magnificent) wrote (or is credited with) several of the songs sung by various

groups of marchers, and various collections of these are fairly easy to find.
General reading on Italian society: Gene Brucker, Ed., The Society of

Renaissance Florence, A Documentary Study; Burckhardt, Jacob, The

Civilization fo the Renaissance in Italy. New York: The Modern Library,

1954; Henisch, Bridget Ann, Fast and Feast: Food in Medieval Society.

University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1976.
With best wishes for a happy Mardi Gras, Carnival, and Shrove Tuesday, I'll

leave you with a favorite, in translation:


Youth is beautiful, but it flies away! Who would be cheerful, let him be; of

the morrow there is no certainty. (Burckhardt, p. 317)


Festively,

Siobhan


From: jeffs at bu.edu (Jeff Suzuki)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Mardi Gras

Date: 21 Mar 1997 19:32:22 GMT

Organization: Boston University
Mary Shafer (shafer at spdcc.com) wrote:

: Actually, Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, is 47 days before

: Easter. The 40 days referred to above are the days that are fast

: days. Sundays aren't fast days. Thus, Lent is a period of 40 fast

: days (not counting Sundays, which aren't fast days), not 40 calendar

: days.
Ah. This explains some things I was wondering about.


Serious question: if Sundays aren't fast days, what are they?

(Insofar as dietary restrictions, etc.)


Jeffs/William

From: bekka1 at ix.netcom.com(rebecca fildes)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Mardi Gras

Date: 20 Mar 1997 02:02:49 GMT
shafer at spdcc.com (Mary Shafer) writes:

Fast days are not days on which no one can

>eat, but days on which one cannot eat certain foods, such as meats and

>"luxury" foods.

>Mary Shafer DoD #0362 KotFR shafer at ursa-major.spdcc.com

>URL http://www.dfrc.nasa.gov/People/Shafer/mary.html

Please forgive me, Mary, for I am about to nitpick. Your reply was

quite accurate save for one thing: the confusion of a day of 'fast'

with a day of 'abstinence'. Simply replace in your post 'abstinence'

for 'fast' and you then become completely correct.

A fast day *is* a day when one cannot eat, or must limit the *amount*

of food eaten.

A day of abstinence is a day when one *abstains* from eating certain

foods, such as meat. What you are describing here are days of

abstinence.

In much of the Middle Ages, Lent was a time of abstinence (no meat or

eggs, etc) and for many, especially those in religious orders, a time

of fasting as well.

I am, of course, using the Catholic doctrinal definition of the words

'fast' and 'abstinence', but since we were discussing Lent and Mardi

Gras, I felt I should speak up.

Thank you for your patience with my nickpicking,

Leofwynn Criostai

mka Rebecca Fildes

bekka1 at ix.netcom.com

From: geard at clear.net.nz (J Geard)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Favors

Date: Tue, 07 Apr 1998 09:32:52 GMT
On Tue, 7 Apr 1998 02:31:39 -0400, frasers at surenet.net (A. Stephen

Fraser) wrote:

>But I can face up

>to the fact that even Easter itself is a mixture of Christian and Pagan

>celebration (Easter was the celebration to the Pagan God Esther; The God

>of fertility I believe - Hence the eggs. Someone correct me on this if

>I'm wrong please)
This may not be the appropriate forum, but...
It was my understanding that the _only_ reference anywhere to the

goddess was by (the very Christian) Bede, who started the

story that Easter was named for her. I've seen claims that she was

Germanic -- although she doen't turn up in the Eddas, which are

otherwise pretty full of minor deities -- and even a claim that she

was Celtic. I have seen nothing solid to back up any claims about her.

I _have_ seen claims that Bede should be believed only with a large

lump of corroborating evidence. Anyone know of such evidence?


Your humble servant,

Alys le Chaunster

In the final days before Pascha

From: "Bryan J. Maloney"

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Favors

Date: Tue, 07 Apr 1998 10:18:37 -0400
A. Stephen Fraser wrote:

> Indeed. I'm a born-again Christian and proud of it. But I can face up

> to the fact that even Easter itself is a mixture of Christian and Pagan

> celebration (Easter was the celebration to the Pagan God Esther; The God

> of fertility I believe - Hence the eggs. Someone correct me on this if

> I'm wrong please)


Happy to oblige. "Easter" is the western name for the Christian holiday

that was known as "Pascha" during the first centuries of the Church.

"Pascha" being Greek for "Passover". In fact, if I remember correctly,

"Easter" is not even used in Mediterranean western European countries,

but some variant of "Pasca" is used, instead. Eggs are colored in

Greece and Russia, even though they do not use the term "Easter" at

all--we Orthodox use the term "Pascha". The idea that "Easter" is a

conflation of a Christian event and some kind of pagan holiday sounds

like modern anti-celebratory protestant revisionism.

Date: Fri, 8 May 1998 11:46:57 -0400

From: mermayde at juno.com (Christine A Seelye-King)

Subject: SC - Mother's Day


Now, Father's Day is a recent invention (relatively) but Mother's Day is

actually period! Enjoy! (Have you sent your Mother's Day Cards?)

Mistress Christianna
Mothering Sunday* -Feudal Europe- On Laetare Sunday (mid-Lent) in spring,

"fostered" children would go to visit their own families. A sweet cake

called a "simnel"- named for simila=fine flour, plum cakes or cakes with

almond paste baked inside were taken to their mothers. (There is a

recipie for " A Simnel Cake for Mothering Sunday" in "How to Cook

Forsoothly")

Origins in the Greek Goddess Cybele, the goddess of nature (whom the

Greeks got from the Phrygians) and Roman festivities held to honor

motherhood.

England-In the 17th cent. Christians went once a year to pay their

respects to the Cathedral or 'Mother Church' of their religion. The huge

gatherings gave so many people a chance to have family reunions that they

began to call it "going a-mothering", and they brought their mothers

flowers and cakes for the occasion. The custom died out in the 18th cent.

But American soldiers stationed in England during WWII, who observed the

U.S. Mother's Day, reminded the English of their own tradition and

contributed to its revival.
Mother's Day* -United States- (Second Sunday in May) When Anna Jarvis'

mother died in 1907, the Philadelphia woman decided that one day every

year should be dedicated to mothers. She held a memorial service and

asked those who attended to wear white carnations. By 1914 she had

convinced Congress to proclaim a National day. Some people still wear

carnations- red (or pink) ones for living mothers and white ones for

those who've died.

Date: Tue, 16 Jun 1998 10:36:32 -0400

From: mermayde at juno.com (Christine A Seelye-King)

Subject: Re: SC - Beans for the Dead?


> As I said there is and assassins feast soon and I have been asked to

>prepare a dish that the autocrat had once at another event which he

>called "Fava de Morti" which as far as I know means Beans for the Dead.

The Feastocrat from that event has left the state, and I've never heard

of this particular dish before. Does anyone out there know what I'm

talking about?

>And if so, could they send me the recipe....it sounds......interesting.

>

>Thanx



>-Sianan
This is an entry from my book, " 366 Days of Celebrations", for November

2 : "Il Giorno dei Morti - Italy - In Rome, the Day of the Dead is the

proper time to send engagement rings to their sweethearts, and to

announce betrothals. Children believe that if they revere their departed

family throughout the year, they will return with gifts on this festival

night. 'Fave dei Morti' or "beans of the Dead" are rich almond cakes

colred and flavored with chocolate, orange, or other flavors. They are

made into kidney-bean shapes."


I will see if I can track down a recipie later, but I am late now.

Mistress Christianna MacGrain

Date: Tue, 16 Jun 1998 15:43:33 -0400

From: mermayde at juno.com (Christine A Seelye-King)

Subject: SC - Fave dei Morti (Beans of the Dead)
Ok, here you go, a recipie and everything. This is from the book

"Feast-Day Cakes From Many Lands" by Dorothy Gladys Spicer

copyrite 1960, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, NY
'Fave die Morti (Beans of the Dead) - Italy
Fave dei Morti, beans of the dead, are the little bean-shaped

cakes that Italians eat on November 2, Il Giorno dei Morti, or All Soul's

Day. These small cakes, made of ground almonds and sugar combined with

egg, butter, flour, and subtle flavorings, are traditionally eaten

throughout Italy on the day that everyone decorates the graves with

flowers and says masses for departed souls.



In spite of the somber beginning of Il Giorno dei Morti, the day

is far from gloomy. To young men in and about Rome, the Day of the Dead

is the proper time to send engagement rings to sweethearts. And to young

couples this 'festa' is the occasion to announce betrothals. Fave dei

Morti, sometimes white, or tinted delicate pink, or chocolate color, play

an important part in these rites. For the man sends the ring to his

fiancee in a conventional small square white box that is packed in an

oval container, full of the bean-shaped cakes.

Fave dei Morti, beans of the dead, are rich and delicate little

cakes. Despite their macabre origin, you will want them often. Color

them orange and serve them at Halloween or Thanksgiving parties with ice

cream goblin or pumpkin molds. Or leave them white and store in tightly

closed tins, to serve with coffee or tea to unexpected guests.


FAVE DEI MORTI
1/2 cup sugar

3 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup finely ground almonds (unblanched)

1 egg


2 tablespoons all purpose flour

1 tablespoon grated lemon rind

Vegetable coloring, if desired
Combine sugar, butter, and ground almonds. Beat egg and add to other

ingredients, mixing thoroughly. Add flour and flavoring. Work dough

until smooth and make into a roll about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap

in waxed paper and refrigerate 2-3 hours. Then cut off bits of dough and

mold them into kidney-shaped pieces about as large as lima beans.

Bake on greased cookie sheet in moderate oven (350 degrees) about 15-20

minutes, or until golden brown. Cool 5 minutes before removing them from

pan with spatula. Yield: about 2 dozen small cakes. '


I would infer from the "Add flour and flavoring" line that you should add

whatever flavor you wish at this stage, such as cocoa powder, lemon, etc.

Hope this is what your autocrat had in mind!

Good Luck,

Mistress Christianna MacGrain

Date: Tue, 16 Jun 1998 16:12:35 -0400 (EDT)

From: Gretchen M Beck

Subject: Re: SC - Fave dei Morti (Beans of the Dead)


Excerpts from internet.listserv.sca-cooks: 16-Jun-98 SC - Fave dei Morti

(Beans .. by C. Seelye-King at juno.com

> Ok, here you go, a recipie and everything. This is from the book

> "Feast-Day Cakes From Many Lands" by Dorothy Gladys Spicer

> copyrite 1960, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, NY
Looks like the name has transferred since 1614 -- in Castelvetti, Fava

del Morte is actually a sort of fava bean paste.


toodles, margaret

Date: Tue, 28 Jul 1998 08:28:09 -0500

From: "Decker, Terry D."

Subject: RE: SC - Results of: Yikes! I'm teaching a class!


> My husband really, really liked "Tart on Ember Day", but we both wondered

> what the heck Ember Day is--Ash Wednesday was our guess.


From the quick ref, Ember Day is a day of pray and fasting occurring on

Wednesday, Friday and Saturday after the first Sunday of Lent, after

Whitsunday, after September 14 and after December 13. The term derives from

the Old English, ymbrendaeg, which roughly means, a recurring day.


Bear

Subject: Re: Halloween

Date: Thu, 22 Oct 1998 13:13:00 -0400

From: burginde at juno.com (deborah e burgin)

To: atlantia at atlantia.sca.org
>Poster: jsrechts at imap.unc.edu

>Anyone know about Halloween traditions during the Middle Ages? I also

>wonder if it's celebrated in Europe.

>Just curious as I know nothing about this topic!


As for what is currently celebrated in Europe (not the middle ages) -

they do not have this tradition in Switzerland nor France. Geneva,

however, has a wonderful custom on Dec 11 when they celebrate repelling

the evil Savoyard (French just across the border who have always had

their eye on the wonderful valley that is Geneva) in a resounding victory

(this occurred back in 1214 - think perhaps they like rubbing it in a bit

much?). There are all sorts of stories and traditions to go along with

it - the best being that bands of children go from door to door and sing

songs about the fierce battle and the good Genevois, etc. in return for

which they get coins, or fruit and cups of hot cider or tea - not bad,

eh?
Gisele (who is, in fact, Genevois, and not French as some would have you

believe)


Subject: Halloween Customs & Origin

Date: Thu, 22 Oct 1998 14:41:22 -0500

From: Erick and Sue

To: atlantia at atlantia.sca.org


According to my copy of "Extraordinary Origins of Everyday Things" p 62-64

summed up


Halloween was first celebrated in 5th century BC by the Celts. They

extinguished the fires in their homes on the night of October 31 (the

official end of Summer) to deliberately make their homes undesirable to

spirits. They gathered outside where a Druid had lit a huge bonfire to

honor the sun god and frighten away any lingering spirits.
The Celts believed that the spirits of all who had died that year assembled

that night to choose the body of the person or animal they would inhabit

for the next 12 months before they could pass peacefully to the afterlife.

To frighten away the roving souls, they would dress as deamons, hogoblins,

and other horrors. They would parade inside the cold houses and outside as

noisily and distructively as possible and finally to the bonfire outside

town.
Romans adopted the Celtic practices, but in AD 61 they outlawed human

sacrifice (though the part on the Celtic practices makes no reference to

human sacrifice?), substituting instead, effigies.
Irish immigrants brought Halloween customs of costume and mischief to the

US in the 1840's--calling it mischeif night. Thye also brought with them

the custome of of a sort of jack-o-lantern. They hollowed out a turnip,

carved a face on it, and lighted it with a candle inside. There were few

turnips to be found in the new world but numerous pumpkins.
The tern Jack-o'-lantern is of Irish origin, too. The legend goes, a man

named Jack, notorious for his drunken and lazy habits, tricked the devil

into climbing a tree. Quickly carving a cross on the truck, Jack trapped

Satan until he swore he would never again tempt Jack to sin. Upon his

death, Jack found himself barred from Heaven for his sinning, and also

refused entrance int o Hell from and unforgiving Satan. Condemned to

wander in frigid darkness until Judgement Day, he implored the devil for

embers to light his way. Though Satan had enbers in surplus, he alloted

Jack a single coal. Putting the ember into a turnip he had chewed hollow,

he formed Jack's Lantern.


The most widely accepted theory on the origins of trick-or-treating traces

the practice to the ninth-century European custom of 'souling'


On All Soul's Day, Christians walked from village to village begging for

square buscuits, called soul cakes. The beggars promised to offer up

prayers for the dead relatives of the donors, the number of prayers

relative to the donor's generosity. The quantity of prayers a dead person

amassed was significant in a practical way, for limbo was the penitential

layoever stop on the journey into heavan, and suffuciant prayer, even by an

anonymous individual, would shorten the stay.
I make no guarantees that all this is accurate, only that I have accurately

summarized up the claims of Charles Panati. If he has it wrong...feel free

to soap up his windows and teepee his house. :)
Sue

Date: Sun, 8 Nov 1998 09:40:01 EST

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: SC - Tablecloths and Christmas feasts


Regarding Christmas feasts in the Middle Ages. To put it simply they were

uncommon since the early and medieval church put much more emphasis on the

date of death rather than birth. Note that all the Saints days are celebrated

on the date of their death. It was only with much reluctance that the Church

excepted Christ's birth as a day of feasting. It did so only when confronted

with the need to incorporate pagan festivals into it's body of traditions

because the pagan populace insisted on practicing their traditional winter

fire festivals in celebration of the lengthening of the days.


It was during the Middle Ages that these festivals were incorporated into

Christian practice, although the Church had, by way of a pronouncement by Pope

Julius I in 350 C.E., set Dec. 25 as the 'official,' albeit inaccurate, date

of Jesus of Nazareth's birth. It was all in all a rather minor day with the

actual celebrations occurring on Epiphany or Twelfth Night. It most certainly

did not have the significance that it has come to have in the current middle

ages until extremely late in period.
The Church's main focus was on the Lenten season. That, and various

celebrations by local saints cults being the major religious points of the

year. The principle source of this information is from 'The Wordsworth Book

of Saints' by Alison Jones and 'How It Started' by Web Gammon


Ras

Date: Tue, 16 Mar 1999 13:35:52 -0500

From: Christine A Seelye-King

Subject: SC - St. David's Day - Not OOP


>Elysant, please tell me more about St. David's Day. Who's the OUR to

>which you refer?

>

>Leanna of Sparrowhaven



>"Any excuse for a party!"
I'm not Elysant, but I can give you some information on St. David's Day,

and on other things celebrated on March 1st. I would love to hear from

the lady from England (or Wales, I'm guessing, is the OUR) just what

other celebrations do occur.

Mistress Christianna MacGrain

author of "366 Days of Celebrations, or, A Year Full of Reasons to Throw

A Party"
MARCH 1

Matronalia, New Year's Day - Ancient Rome - March was named for Mars, and

was sacred to both Mars and Juno, wife of Jupiter. Juno is the presiding

deity of the first day of the year, and of the year as a whole. She is

seen as a matron, and a virgin mother. The Kalends of March were the last

day of what came to be called Carnival, the period of celebration from

the Terminalia to this symbolic first day of Spring. Celebrated until

154 BCE. Celebrated in Venice until 1797. (See Feb. 23rd.)

Festival of Mars - Ancient Rome - Mars is seen as both war-like and as

the personification of protection of the state, along with agricultural

and business success of the community. On this day, Mars' Birthday, the

priests of His temple would carry shields and leap and dance through the

streets. This celebration would continue until March 24th.

St. David's Feast Day (4th Cent) Patron Saint of Wales & Poets. His

symbol is the leek, probably because he ate a lot of leeks as part of his

vegetarian diet. He established many monasteries and performed some

miracles. This date commemorates a Welsh victory over the English, when

they wore leeks in their hats to identify their countrymen.

St. Swithbert's Feast Day (8th Cent) Patron Invoked against Angina.

English missionary to the Friesians (southern Holland).

Whuppity Scoorie Day - Scotland - Church bells start ringing at 6am on

March 1st after being silent all winter long. Children race around the

church with string attached to a paper ball, whirling them at other

racers. Origins of this custom are lost, but may be to drive out winter

and evil spirits.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Founded (1565)

Subject: Re: ANST - April Fools

Date: Thu, 01 Apr 99 08:30:13 MST

From: Mark&Sue

To: ansteorra at Ansteorra.ORG


Tamlin here
Jackie wrote:

> Morning. Was wondering what the history of this rather blackly humourous

> day is...anyone wanna take a stab at it?

>

> Ulrica the mischevious


A VERY quick search on www revealed.
April Fools Day: An Unsolved History

The first of April, some do say,

Is set apart for All Fools' Day.

But why the people call it so,

Nor I, nor they themselves do know.

But on this day are people sent

On purpose for pure merriment.

-- Poor Robin's Almanac (1790)


OK, who started it?

Did the first Fools come from France, England, Mexico, Sweden or

India? The truth, as in any good mystery, lies hidden in the shadows of

time.
Some say that April Fools Day began in many parts of the world at the

same time, in celebration of the spring equinox. Pranks were a big part

of even the most boring equinox parties, everywhere from Sweden to

India.
Others argue that the modern April Fool's Day followed the adoption

of a reformed calendar in France circa 1564. In medieval times, the

octave of New Year's began on March 25 with the eight days of

festivities ending on April 1.


With the reform of the calendar under Charles IX, New Year's Day

was moved from April 1 to January 1. Due to the slowness of

"sandal-net" communication back then and general resistance to

change, the January 1 date was not fully accepted for several years.

Those traditionalists who clung to April 1 as New Year's Day were

scoffed at as "fools" and sent fake party invitations and prank gifts.


Widespread observance in England began in the 18th century. The

English, Scots and French introduced the custom to their colonies in

America. One of our forefathers' favorite jokes was to send someone

on a "fool's errand." For example, one might have been asked to go out

and obtain a copy of "The History of Adam's Grandfather," or bring

back some "sweet vinegar."


In Scotland, April Fools Day is 48 hours long. The second day is called

Taily Day and is dedicated to pranks involving the buttocks. Taily

Day's gift to posterior posterity is the still-hilarious "Kick Me" sign.
The "foolish" tradition is celebrated in Mexico, too, but on a different

day and for different reasons. "El Dia de los Inocentes," which is

December 28, was set aside as a day for Christians to mourn Herod's

slaughter of innocent children. Over time, the tone of that "unluckiest of

days" has evolved from sadness to good-natured trickery. Even the

media join the fun, often running bogus news stories and radio reports.


We may never learn the true origin of April Fools Day. However, the

deeper question facing us today is, "What's the best gag I can pull off?"

AprilFools.com has some intriguing suggestions.
Sources Include: The American Book of Days by Jane M. Hatch; The World

Holiday Book by Anneli Rufus; the Encyclopedia Americana.

Date: Fri, 10 Mar 2000 19:48:45 EST

From:

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: birthdays


The Catholic church demanded names for babies be chosen from the accepted

saints, or the baby would not be baptized. Every saint had a specific feast

day - could be their own birthday, date of death, or some event in their

lives. In Russia, until the revolution, both a personal birthday and saints

day (called name day) were celebrated with equal importance.
Nancy

Date: Tue, 14 Oct 2008 15:58:06 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Forthcoming titles Fall 2008 LONG

To: Cooks within the SCA
As promised sometime back here's a list of some forthcoming

fall 08- winter 09

titles that might be of interest to readers of this list.

They cover a full range of topics.

I've included details, descriptions or links where I have them.

A number of the lists I used didn't record prices possibly because

they were not yet set.
Johnnae
-----------------
Entertaining from Ancient Rome to the Super Bowl [Two Volumes]

*Author: *Adamson, Melitta Weiss et al. *Publisher: *Greenwood

Publishing Group, Incorporated * *0-313-33957-0

*** *Oct 2008 *Price: *$199.95 **

664 pages http://www.greenwood.com/catalog/GR3957.aspx

This a two-volume reference set for libraries. Entries tell the history

of wedding and religious customs, holidays and

modern day get togethers. Entries on

Ancient Rome, Medieval entertaining, etc.

Date: Sun, 23 Apr 2000 14:05:40 -0400

From: Christine A Seelye-King

Subject: SC - Re: [TY] Easter Celebrations


> Easter eggs were served on Easter day and were colored red

> to symbolize joy. (N.B. the CE doesn't give a date on this one so

> I will not vouch for its strict periodness)
This is thought to be a result of travelers in the Middle East observing

the red eggs there. Here is the listing for Easter from my book.

Christianna
Easter* - Christian - Celebrates the Resurrection of Jesus. Mary

Magdalene and some companions visited the tomb of Jesus, and the Angel of

the Lord appeared and told them He was risen. Legend has it that the sun

jumps for joy on Easter morning, so many churches have sunrise services.

In the 8th century the Venerable Bede suggested that the word "Easter"

may have come from Eostre, the Anglo-Saxon name of a Teutonic goddess of

spring and fertility. Saxons ate cross-inscribed loaves in her honor.

Her symbol was a hare, which may explain the custom of the Easter hare,

or rabbit, who brings Easter eggs. The egg may have become a special

Easter symbol of rebirth because eggs were long one of the foods

forbidden during Lent. The use of Easter Eggs among Christians came into

use around 700 AD. The tradition of coloring eggs probably began with

medieval travelers to Egypt and Persia, where people colored eggs for

their spring festivals. Red eggs symbolized the Blood of Christ, a

chicken meant the fulfillment of one's dreams, the sun presages good

luck, flowers for love and understanding, good health is assured by a

deer or a stag, and prosperity by a pig. In Lancastershire, England, the

children participate in Pace-Egging, where they roll Easter eggs down a

hill. It was said to commemorate Christ's tomb stone rolling away from

the crypt. Norsemen also had the word Eostur, Eastur, Ostara, or Ostar,

meaning season of the growing sun. (April 25th is the latest day on

which Easter Sunday can occur. The earliest day on which it can fall is

March 22nd.)

Lambri* - Greece - "Bright Day" is how Greeks describe Easter. The night

before, all lights go out. At midnight, a priest enters holding a candle,

proclaiming the Resurrection of Christ. His candle is used to light the

candles every person holds. The church bells ring, ships sound their

whistles, and firecrackers go off. Afterward, people celebrate with

dancing, roast lamb, and Easter eggs, which Greeks dye red only.

Date: Sun, 23 Apr 2000 14:00:00 -0400

From: Christine A Seelye-King

Subject: SC - Fw: Re: [TY] Easter Celebrations


A very interesting post from our Kingdom list in response to the

question, "How was Easter Celebrated in period?". I though I would share

this with the list.

Happy Holy Days,

Christianna
- --------- Forwarded message ----------

From: Mark Mettler

To: meridian-ty at egroups.com

Date: Sat, 22 Apr 2000 22:49:36 -0400

Subject: Re: [TY] Easter Celebrations
Early Christians observed Easter on the same day as Passover (14-15

Nisan, a date governed by a lunar calendar). In the 2d century, the

Christian celebration was transferred to the Sunday following the 14-15 Nisan, if that day fell on a weekday. Originally, the Christian Easter was a unitive celebration, but in the 4th century Good Friday became a separate commemoration of the death of Christ, and Easter was thereafter devoted exclusively to the resurrection. According to the Venerable Bede, the name Easter is derived from the pagan spring festival of the Anglo-Saxon goddess Eostre, and many folk customs associated with Easter (for example, Easter eggs) are of pagan origin. The common name then for Easter was Paschal Feast. Easter always falls the First Sunday after a full moon which happens on or after March 21 (The vernal equinox).
Let us look at one single Hanseatic town, Attendorn. Attendorn

flourished in the 13th and 14th centuries mainly thanks to the nine

guilds, especially the wool and linen weavers. But the political and

ecclesiastical position of the town in its function as border fortress

against the neighboring Mark County and as seat of one of the largest

deaneries in the old archbishopric of Cologne led to the formation of

wealth. In 1255, Attendorn was the only Sauerland town to join the

Rhenish confederation of 60 important towns of the empire.


Here is how it celebrated Easter: The tunes of a centuries old horn

played from the church tower, the blessing of bread on Easter Saturday,

the putting up and burning of the Easter Fires at the four town gates,

the processions from there to St. John's Church, the display of unusual

Easter lanterns.
The Easter Egg, or Pace ege, is one of the oldest traditions recorded

for Easter in Europe. Another of the customs, "lifting' or 'heaving'

contests.

- --


Ld. Gryffri de Newmarch

http://www2.gasou.edu/SCA

Date: Sun, 23 Apr 2000 14:06:21 -0400

From: Christine A Seelye-King

Subject: SC - Fw: Re: [TY] Easter Celebrations
More from the Easter discussion.

Christianna


- --------- Forwarded message ----------

From: "James Pratt"

To: meridian-ty at egroups.com

Date: Sat, 22 Apr 2000 23:21:56 -0400

Subject: Re: [TY] Easter Celebrations
In the Medieval period Easter was considered the principal

feast on the liturgical calendar. Its celebration over shadowed

even that of the Nativity. Using the theme of resurrection and rebirth

it was considered the optimum time for baptism.


The _Catholic Encyclopedia_ makes note of the following as

some of the more interesting customs outside of the purely liturgical

associations:
In Bavaria during the 15th. century the custom of "risus

Paschalis" (Easter laughter) came into vogue. The priest would

use amusing stories to illustrate points of the resurrection story

to the congregation with the hope that they would draw the proper

moral conclusion. It evidently became so popular that it eventually

was considered an abuse of the word of God and banned by Pope

Clement X. No respect...
Easter eggs were served on Easter day and were colored red

to symbolize joy. (N.B. the CE doesn't give a date on this one so

I will not vouch for its strict periodness)
The clergy in Germany and France was given leave to vent

the strict discipline of Lent by playing handball during Easter week.

There is also mention of a dance in which clerics of all ranks took

part in celebration.


On Easter Monday women had the right to strike their husbands

and on Tuesday the husbands could strike their wives. These and

other customs contrary to the normal decorum are listed in the

article but have no specific date.


Bonfires were lit on some high places in celebration of the

feast; however the Church tended to ban the actions as more

akin to Pagan than Christian practices.
In memory of the Passover association, Easter eve saw the

ritual blessing of the house.


I'm sure there are other customs attendant to the festival;

however the foregoing were the more interesting noted in the

article.
Cathal.

Date: Thu, 10 Jan 2002 10:46:08 -0600 (CST)

From: "Pixel, Goddess and Queen"

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] RE: Handling special diet needs at feasts
Actually, because it's calculated by a lunar calendar with no leap

anything (Jews have a leap month to straighten things out every couple of

years and keep the various festivals and holy days approximately the

same time every year), Ramadan moves slowly backwards every year (10 days

or so). So, eventually, it will be during the summer.
Margaret
On Wed, 9 Jan 2002, Terry Decker wrote:

> I'm sure you mean "far south." During Ramadan, north of the Arctic Circle

> it's night. Since the fasting starts at dawn, it is lawful to eat. Below

> the Arctic Circle, you get to fast for about 3 to 6 hours, depending on

> where you are. Praise Allah, Ramadan is not in summer.

>

> Bear



>

> >Incidentally, what do devout believers in the Islamic faith do

> >at Ramadon if they live up in the far north where the sun does not set in

> >Winter??? Starve for a month???

> >

> >Akim Yaroslavich



Date: Sat, 25 Mar 2006 00:13:52 -0800

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Spices and the Irish Common folk

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org


Adamantius wrote:

> The four big festivals on the Celtic calendar correspond roughly

> to the solstices and equinoxes: Imbolc in the winter, Beltane in the

> spring, Lughnasa in the late summer, and Samhain in the autumn.

> Lughnasa is the festival of the sun god, Lugh, more or less the

> Celtic Apollo, and it doubles as the harvest festival, Lammas in

> English. Eating colcannon at Lughnasa is allegedly an ancient

> tradition (before you guys jump in, there's apparently some evidence

> to suggest that colcannon once was made without potatoes).
The Celtic solar holidays fall MID-WAY BETWEEN the Solstices and

Equinoces. Since the Solstices and Equinoces "wobble" a bit on the

calendar (falling somewhere between the 19 and the 22 of their

month), the Celtic holidays wobble a little too, actually falling

more or less on the 6th or 7th of their month.
Modern convention, however, places them on the last day of the

previous month/first of the month (since i've heard the Celtic

system, like the Ancient Middle Eastern, starts days with the sunset)

for convenience, but since the holidays are astrologically based,

that's not where they REALLY fall.
Samhain (more or less "sow-enn") early November

Imbolc early February

Beltaine early May

Lughnasa early August

--

Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)



the persona formerly known as Anahita

Date: Sat, 25 Mar 2006 18:03:09 -0500

From: Tom Vincent

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Spices and the Irish Common folk

To: Cooks within the SCA
Just to complete the list:
Yule, Winter Solstice

Ostara, Spring Equinox

Midsummer or Litha, Summer Solstice

Mabon, mid Sept.


Duriel
lilinah at earthlink.net wrote:

> Samhain (more or less "sow-enn") early November

> Imbolc early February

> Beltaine early May

> Lughnasa early August

From: Naima

Date: May 14, 2006 1:29:45 PM CDT

To: ansteorra at ansteorra.org

Subject: [Ansteorra] Happy Mothers Day
The earliest Mother's Day celebrations can be traced

back to the spring celebrations of ancient Greece in

honor of Rhea, the Mother of the Gods. During the

1600's, England celebrated a day called "Mothering

Sunday". Celebrated on the 4th Sunday of Lent (the 40

day period leading up to Easter*), "Mothering Sunday"

honored the mothers of England.
In the United States Mother's Day was first suggested

in 1872 by Julia Ward Howe (who wrote the words to the

Battle hymn of the Republic) as a day dedicated to

peace. Ms. Howe would hold organized Mother's Day

meetings in Boston, Mass ever year.
Read all about the History of Mothers day including

the above snips at:

http://www.holidays.net/mother/story.htm
happy mothers day to all :)
Sayyida Naima bint Rashid al-Andalusiyya, CGP

Historian

Barony of Bjornsborg

Those who live by the sword, die by the clothyard shaft

Date: Wed, 30 Jul 2008 22:23:07 -0500

From: "Terry Decker"

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Celebrating April Fools day

To: "Cooks within the SCA"


<<< So how *is* April 1/April Fools day celebrated in Europe these days.

Unless it is another one of those urban legends I thought it originated

in some of the calendar changes near the end of our period. I think there

is some info on it in the Florilegium. However, I don't remember a lot

about how it was celebrated then or now.
Stefan >>>
The origin of April fool's Day/All Fool's Day is unknown, but there is a

very good possibility that it is tied to the Gregorian Calendar reform of

1582. The reform was inacted to correct the shifting of the date of Easter,

which is based on the Easter moon, whose first appearance can be between

March 5 and April 2. Easter being the first Sunday after the 15th day of

the Easter moon (if my notes are correct). Presumably, anyone still using

the Julian Calendar was an "April Fool."
It is also possible that the basic idea of an April Fool is that of a person

who planted his crops before May 1, which could possibly make the original

concept Neolithic in origin.
Protestant countries didn't adopt the Gregorian Calendar until the 18th

Century, so April Fool's Day may not have been celebrated in those countries

until after they adopted the new calendar if the common legend is true. The

general practice of the celebration is hoaxes and pranks.


Bear

Date: Thu, 31 Jul 2008 10:04:41 -0500

From: "Terry Decker"

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Celebrating April Fools day

To: "Cooks within the SCA"
My copy of the OED shows the first written use of April Fool as being from

1687. This predates the official adoption of the Gregorian Calendar by the

Britian and its territories in 1752. It doesn't eliminate the possibility

that April Fool is tied to the changes brought by the Gregorian Calendar,

but it suggests that the original usage may be more tied to April being the

first month of Spring and seen as fickle and changeable than to the calendar

change. It's an interesting puzzle.
Bear

Date: Thu, 31 Jul 2008 16:54:50 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Celebrating April Fools day

To: Cooks within the SCA
When I did my calendar custom series, I came across this

quotation in OED:


"What, has he been here? that's one of Loves April-fools, is always upon

some errand that's to no purpose, ever embarking in Adventures"


This from Congreve as quoted in 1692's The Old Bachelour
Chamber's Book of Day's is online now and can be searched. It's

certainly worth looking at.


http://www.thebookofdays.com/months/april/1.htm
Johnnae

Date: Fri, 02 Jan 2009 22:05:01 -0300

From: Suey

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] New Year's Eve/Day repast

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org
Jennifer Carlson wrote:

<<< My mother actually calls her children on New Year's Day to make sure we've all eaten our black-eyed peas. . . >>>
In Spain a Chinese china pill box containing lentils is given to each

guest upon entering the home on New Year's Eve today for good luck but I

believe chickpeas were served in the 15th Century.
Suey

From: "Chiara Francesca"

Date: January 6, 2009 9:37:35 AM CST

To: "'Kingdom of Ansteorra - SCA, Inc.'"

Subject: [Ansteorra] Happy Epiphany!
January 6 - Epiphany
The Feast of the Epiphany, or Twelfth Day, marks the end of Yule

festivities. The word is not specific to Christianity, however, as Zeus's

alias, "Epiphanes," can attest. It comes from the Greek epiphaneia, meaning

"manifestation" or "appearance."


In the church, Epiphany commemorates the manifestation of Jesus' divine

nature to the Magi, the three wise men or kings. In many countries, Three

Kings Day is a time of gift giving. Traditional fare is a spice King Cake

with a lucky bean baked in it.


Tradition advises the removal of Christmas greens by Epiphany to avoid bad

luck.


From the Farmer's Almanac
Baronessa Chiara Francesca Arianna d'Onofrio

Date: Sun, 15 Mar 2009 12:03:05 -0400

From: "Kingstaste"

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Easter Observances

To: "'Cooks within the SCA'"
I have been collecting information about holiday celebrations and

observations for many years. A lot of it is random and unedited, but I am

going to throw it out here to see if it rings any bells for anyone. I am

always interested to hear family traditions that either confirm or debunk

what I've found.
Christianna

MAR 21
Vernal Equinox, First Day of Spring


Mothering Sunday* - Feudal Europe - On Laetare Sunday (mid-Lent) in spring,

"fostered" children would go to visit their own families. A sweet cake

called a "simnel"- named for simila=fine flour, plum cakes or cakes with

almond paste baked inside were taken to their mothers.


Origins in the Greek Goddess Cybele, the goddess of nature (whom the Greeks

got from the Phrygians) and Roman festivities held to honor motherhood.


England - In the 17th Century, Christians went once a year to pay their

respects to the cathedral or mother church of their religion. The huge

gatherings gave so many people a chance to have family reunions that they

began to call it "going a-mothering", and they brought their mothers flowers

and cakes for the occasion. The custom died out in the 18th cent. But

American soldiers stationed in England during WWII, who observed the U.S.

Mother's Day, reminded the English of their own tradition and contributed to

its revival.

MAR 27
Ceremony of Washing - Ancient Rome - Traditional Spring Cleaning Day
Vikrama Samvat * - Hindu - The beginning of Spring, when the Goddess of

Nature is bedecked as a divine bride. A combination of bitter neem leaves

and sweet jaggery is eaten, to signify conflicting aspects of human life:

joy and sorrow, success and failure, ecstasy and agony.


Holi* - Hindu - To celebrate the end of the spring harvest and the end of

winter in India and, some people say, the time long ago when the evil witch

Holika was burned, people light bonfires on the eve of Holi. The next day

children and adults throw water and colored powders at each other. Soon

everyone is covered with the colors of spring. It is a holiday of mirth and

merriment. Games depicting the pranks of the infant Krishna are played by

boys singing and dancing.
Festival of Ostara - Saxon - "Season of the Growing Sun". A 2 day 'Coming

of Spring' festival.


Alp Aufzug* - Switzerland - "Ascent" marks the time when herdsmen lead their

goats and cattle up to mountain pastures for the summer. Considered the

beginning of spring, everyone wears bright costumes, decorate the best

animals with flowers, and parade with the pails and cheese-making equipment.

Sunday before Easter
Palm Sunday* - Christian - Commemorates Jesus' entry into Jerusalem. People

greeted Him by waving palm branches, and today many churches distribute and

bless palms as part of the service.
Pax Cakes Distribution* (16th Cent) Hereforshire, England - Under the will

of Lady Scudomore, cakes and ale were presented to the congregation at the

Palm Sunday service to promote peace and good fellowship.
Seschselauten* - Switzerland - On the first day of Zurich's Spring Festival,

The "Six O' Clock Ringing", there's a children's parade through town. On the

second day, dressed in medieval costumes and carrying banners, members of

the town's historic craft guilds march the same route. The tailors chase the

children with huge scissors. The bakers hand out pastries. At 6pm when the

bells chime, everyone gathers in the town square where the Boegg, a big

white figure of winter stuffed with straw and firecrackers, goes up in a

burst of flames.


Ra-Ra* - Haiti - Every day between Palm Sunday and Easter groups of

people-The Ra-Ra- come down from the hills to dance for money. Each dancer

is dressed in a red shirt and carries a red flag. Some of them beat drums;

some crack whips; some carry kerosene lanterns. As soon as the crowd sees

the group's leader, they cry "Ra-Ra!" The dance celebrates spring but also

mourns the death of Jesus. Throughout the 3 days before Easter the Ra-Ra

dance intensely, and on Easter Sunday they stop.
Maundy Thursday, Royal Maundy (14th Cent) Britain's oldest charity, it was

started by Edward III. Until 1689 the sovereign went to Westminster Abbey

the day before Good Friday to wash the feet of the poor. Since James II,

special minted coins have been given out instead.


Green Thursday - The Thursday before Easter, the day that Jesus washed the

feet of the disciples. In Czechoslovakia, "Judases"- cakes made to look

like twisted ropes- are made and dipped in honey to suggest the fate of

Judas on this day. Honey is a preventative against disaster. On this day

they also bake a lamb-shaped cake for the Lamb of God to be served on Easter

Sunday.
Good Friday* - Christian - Commemorates the day Jesus was convicted of

treason against the Roman Empire and crucified. Many people observe the day

with solemn services or processions that reenact Jesus' walk to His death,

carrying his own cross. Supposedly on His way to Golgotha, He stopped at the

door of a woman who was baking and asked for bread. She thought he was just

a poor misfortunate sentenced to die, so she brought him in and gave him

bread and water. Legend says He has blessed all women who bake on Good

Friday.
Hot Cross Buns - traditionally associated with Good Friday. Early Egyptians

offered their moon goddess cakes marked with horns symbolic of the horned ox

they sacrificed at the altar. Early Greeks presented horn-inscribed cakes to

Astarte and other deities. The Romans ate cross-bread at sacrificial

feasts, and the Saxons inscribed loaves with a cross in honor of Eostre, the

goddess of light (See Easter).


Marble Championship - Tinsley Green, Sussex, England - In 1600 two rivals

dueled over a lover with a game of marbles. Since then, there has been a

marbles championship held in their memory.
Bermuda - In the 19th century, a teacher who had trouble explaining Jesus'

Ascension into heaven brought his class to the highest hill on the island,

where he launched a kite with an image of Jesus. When the line ran out, he

cut it, and children have flown kites on Good Friday ever since.


Vigil of Easter* Many churches celebrate the day between Jesus' Crucifixion

and His Resurrection, with an Easter vigil service. Worshipers reflect on

His suffering and death. Mexico- many people make ugly effigy of Judas,

stuff it with firecrackers, and hang it over a street. Then they ignite the

evil Judas and he explodes. Children scramble for the candies and little

gifts that spurt out of him.


White Saturday - Czechoslovakia - is the favorite time to decorate the eggs

that have been taken to church and blessed.


Easter* - Christian - Celebrates the Resurrection of Jesus. Mary Magdalene

and some companions visited the tomb of Jesus, and the Angel of the Lord

appeared and told them He was risen. Legend has it that the sun jumps for

joy on Easter morning, so many churches have sunrise services. In the 8th

century the Venerable Bede suggested that the word "Easter" may have come

from Eostre, the Anglo-Saxon name of a Teutonic goddess of spring and

fertility. Saxons ate cross-inscribed loaves in her honor. Her symbol was a

hare, which may explain the custom of the Easter hare, or rabbit, who brings

Easter eggs. The egg may have become a special Easter symbol of rebirth

because eggs were long one of the foods forbidden during Lent. The use of

Easter Eggs among Christians came into use around 700 AD. The tradition of

coloring eggs probably began with medieval travelers to Egypt and Persia,

where people colored eggs for their spring festivals. Red eggs symbolized

the Blood of Christ, a chicken meant the fulfillment of one's dreams, the

sun presages good luck, flowers for love and understanding, good health is

assured by a deer or a stag, and prosperity by a pig. In Lancastershire,

England, the children participate in Pace-Egging, where they roll Easter

eggs down a hill. It was said to commemorate Christ's tomb stone rolling

away from the crypt. Norsemen also had the word Eostur, Eastur, Ostara, or

Ostar, meaning season of the growing sun. (This is the latest day on which

Easter Sunday can occur. The earliest day on which it can fall is March

22nd.)
Lambri* - Greece - "Bright Day" is how Greeks describe Easter. The night

before, all lights go out. At midnight, a priest enters holding a candle,

proclaiming the Resurrection of Christ. His candle is used to light the

candles every person holds. The church bells ring, ships sound their

whistles, and firecrackers go off. Afterward, people celebrate with dancing,

roast lamb, and Easter eggs, which Greeks dye red only.

Date: Sun, 15 Mar 2009 12:46:21 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Easter Observances

To: Cooks within the SCA
I collect books on calendar customs and folklore.

Not all on foods either; many have to do with the topic

of play and seasonal customs.
Besides Google books these days, one can use the online

Book of Days which was designed to consist of:

Matters connected with the Church Calendar, including the Popular

Festivals, Saints' Days, and other Holidays, with illustrations of

Christian Antiquities in general;

http://www.thebookofdays.com/indexes/traditions.htm


Saints and Catholic customs can be found at

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/


Johnnae

Date: Sun, 15 Mar 2009 13:35:18 -0500

From: "Terry Decker"

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Easter Observances

To: "Cooks within the SCA"
<<< I have been collecting information about holiday celebrations and

observations for many years. A lot of it is random and unedited, but I am

going to throw it out here to see if it rings any bells for anyone. I am

always interested to hear family traditions that either confirm or debunk

what I've found.
Christianna
Mothering Sunday* - Feudal Europe - On Laetare Sunday (mid-Lent) in spring,

"fostered" children would go to visit their own families. A sweet cake

called a "simnel"- named for simila=fine flour, plum cakes or cakes with

almond paste baked inside were taken to their mothers. >>>


This is misleading. It references Feudal Europe and roughly describes a

modern simnel cake. The term simnel first appears about the 13th Century

and it describes a small loaf of bread (possibly filled with almond paste

although my opinion is that it came later, possibly in the 17th Century)

baked in a hand raised pastry shell which forms the bottom and sides of the

loaf. The earliest references consider the simnel to be "twice baked." but

later descriptions give the simnel as boiled, then baked. The pastry shell

first disappears in a recipe from 1894.


A wood cut in Chambers Book of Days (1864) shows large and small simnels

having a copped outer crust and a filled center.(Fig. 1) Chambers describes

simnels as:
"...raised cakes, the crust of which is made of fine flour and water, with

sufficient saffron to give it a deep yellow colour, and the interior is

filled with the materials of a very rich plum-cake, with plenty of candied

lemon peel, and other good things. They are made up very stiff; tied up in a

cloth, and boiled for several hours, after which they are brushed over with

egg, and then baked. When ready for sale the crust is as hard as if made of

wood..."
C. Anne Wilson thinks that the simnel may be a combination of recipes for

placenta and emeum and is a continuation of the Roman holiday baking.


And to quote myself, "Mothering Sunday has been a common name for Laetare

Sunday since the Dark Ages. Originally Lent commenced on Shrove Sunday and

consisted of was thirty-six days of fasting. Laetare Sunday occurred at

Mid-Lent and served as a break from the austere fasting rules of Lent.

Apprentices were free to visit their families and gifts were given to the

Mother Church. Four days were added to early on, but the tradition of

Mothering Sunday continued and was brought into the Protestant churches with

altered meaning.


It was common among the Romans to make gifts and sacrifices of fine

pastries, including placenta, during religious festivals. It is likely that

the custom continued under Christianity and it is probable that the simnel

is an evolution of placenta used in the old Roman fashion as a gift at

Mid-Lent or Easter.
While absolute proof of the origin of the simnel is lost to us, it appears

related to the Roman pastry placenta in that it has a hard outer shell and a

soft inner bread filling. Like placenta, simnel became gift for religious

holidays, possibly with an enriched filling for Mid-Lent. If Wilson's idea

that the simnel is derived from two separate recipes is correct, then this

would the first step in its evolution." (Simnels: From Fine Bread to Fancy

Cake, presented at the Serve It Forth! 3rd Conference on European Cooking
From Rome to the Renaissance, 2005).
Bear

Date: Fri, 26 Jun 2009 10:31:43 -0400

From: "Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius"

Subject: [Sca-cooks] An overlooked feast day of culinary

significance...

To: Cooks within the SCA


Wednesday, June 24th, was the feast of Saint John the Baptist.
For those of you who celebrate such things, a belated happy one to

you. For those of you who don't, you can still celebrate the official

date which, according to Le Menagier, you begin gathering your green

walnuts for making mixed preserves/compost, the official beginning of

cherry season in a number of countries/cultures, and the official

kickoff of the big Danish herring season (as in, when the fleets go

out, people eat raw fillets with funky garnishes while dancing in the

streets of Copenhagen, the economic dominance of the Hanseatic League

is once again safeguarded, or something like that, etc.)
Adamantius

To: CALONTIR at listserv.unl.edu

Date: Tue, 17 Nov 2009 04:07:30 -0600

From: Lorraine Gehring

Subject: Re: Samhain and sot
<<< Those of us who have studied what history there is know that different

groups had different holy days. Isn't that the way of all religions? >>>


True in one sense, Your Grace. However, a lot of those other holy days

share the same days on the calendar.


Samhain (October 31) -- All Hallow's Eve, followed on November 1 by All

Hallows (All Saints Day) and on November 2 by All Souls Day, only a few

days away from the Mexican Day of the Dead celebration. I'm sensing a theme

here.
Yule (December 21/22) -- Gardener moved this to the date of the solstice

now. But it was December 25 in Caesar's original Julian calendar. And we

all know what holiday falls on December 25, right? Saturnalia, of course.


Imbolc (February 2) -- Candlemas. Why you had to bring candles to church to

be blessed I really don't know.


Ostara (March 20/21) -- Again, moved to the actual equinox. But it would

have been March 25 before -- Lady Day, the day Mary became pregnant (as

long as you don't read the Gospels). It was the preferred new year's day

for a lot of Europe.


Beltaine (May 1) -- May Day. This one appears to have remained mostly

pagan-ish in Europe.


Lammas (June 20/21) -- Midsummer Day on the summer solstice. But it used to

be celebrated on June 24/25, and June 24 is John the Baptist's birthday.

The Christians tried, but John's birthday was no Christmas. This one

remained mostly pagan.


Lughnasadh (August 1) -- I know it's Lughnasadh in Ireland, but I thought

this was Lammas, at least in England -- the Anglo Saxon "loaf mass." This

was the holiday for baking bread with the first of the winter wheat harvest

and for blessing the fields. It was also associated with berries and "first

fruit." Still pretty agricultural/pagan.
Mabon (September 21/22) -- Fall equinox, once on the 24/25, too. September

24 was the new year for some medieval people, particularly in parts of the

Holy Roman Empire. It was new year for the early Egyptians. Rosh Hashannah

floats, but it's still in this general area.


Easter and everything associated with it (Ash Wednesday to

Pentecost/Whitsunday) takes up a lot of the spring and early summer

calendar, too. So not all Christian holidays were layered onto existing

northern European holidays. Some were layered onto original Jewish

holidays. :-)
Lorraine

PS: At least Whitsunday appears to be wholly original.

To: CALONTIR at listserv.unl.edu

Date: Tue, 17 Nov 2009 21:57:09 -0600

From: Thomas von Holthausen Subject: Re: Samhain and sot
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This discussion of Samhain and pagan feast days touches on my academic area. Much of the following information is taken from Thomas J. Talley, The Origins of the Liturgical Year, Pueblo, Collegeville, 1986.
All the major Christian holidays are based on the Jewish calendar which

has two "new year's day" events, based on two older traditions, in turn, if I remember correctly, based on two different agricultural cycles, barley and wheat.


The English name Easter does derive from the pagan Eostre, but the

timing of the feast derives from the Jewish calendar and the official

name of the day reflects that, The Passover of the Lord, or Pascha.

Christianity also celebrates Pentecost, but as a feast of the coming of

the Holy Spirit rather than with the original Jewish meaning which

escapes my mind just now. Regardless, is fifty [pente] days after Passover.


The logic of the other Christian dates depends upon the date of Passover and a cyclic view of history.

The cyclic view suggests that the date of the death of Jesus should also be the date of the conception.


The Jewish date of Passover is 14 Nissan. As others have pointed out,

the Roman calendar equivalent was 25 March.

Nine months later would be the birth date, 25 December. The date for

Christmas was selected for that reason, not to replace a pagan feast.

The dates coincide because the pagan and Jewish feasts were separately

based on the solstice and the human gestation period is the same as the

length of time from an equinox to the second solstice following.
Their remains the tradition of celebrating the birth of Jesus on 6

January in some Eastern Churches because of disagreements within

Christianity on how to adjust dates for the changing Roman calendar, but that is another dissertation. If you really care about why Easter

remains a movable feast based on the Spring Equinox and phases of the

moon instead of being fixed on 25 March, please contact me off list with the subject line: Quartodecians.
As an aside, the feast of the Unconquered Sun was established three

centuries later by one of the last pagan Roman emperors, possibly to

compete with the growing Christian Christmas celebration.
The dates for the conception and birth of John the Baptist are based on

the Gospel of Luke account saying that Elizabeth was six months pregnant when the Annunciation of the conception of Jesus was made, 25 March according to the cyclic theory. So John would have been conceived on 25 September and born on 25 June.


In the Eastern Orthodox Church and other Eastern Christian Churches, St

John the Baptist is usually called St John the Forerunner, a title also

used sometimes in the West. This title indicates that the purpose of

his ministry was to prepare the way for the coming of Jesus. In the East and West, the Feast of John's nativity is celebrated on June 24.


In addition to the birth of John the Baptist, the Orthodox Church also commemorates September 23 as the Conception of St John the Forerunner and the Commemoration of Sts. Zechariah and Elizabeth, his parents.
May first, as of 1955, is the Christian feast of St. Joseph the Worker

in contrast with May Day as the holiday of workers celebrated by

socialists and communists. This is a little weird, because May in also

the Month of Mary. Beginning it with a feast for Joseph seems a triumph of politics over devotion. I guess I need to look up what the church previously celebrated on May first. Back to the library, unless someone has handy a period Missal and can easily look up the feast for 1 May in a particular year of publication.


I had most of the above information either clear in my memory or ready

to hand in Talley.


One of my reasons for interest in the date for Samhain is that I am

still trying to find out if, like the Jewish origins of Easter and

Christmas and the widely dispersed supposition that Christmas was

established to displace a pagan feast, the feasts of All Saints and All

Souls have instead a parallel development or Jewish origin for their

dates rather than the date being chosen to displace something else. I

do not have a handy resource to answer this with any academic

definitiveness.


Herr Thomas von Holthausen

Barony of Three Rivers, Calontir

From: Dorcas or Jean

Date: April 1, 2010 3:32:18 PM CDT

To: CALONTIR at listserv.unl.edu

Subject: Re: [CALONTIR] OT Holiday Question


--- On Thu, 4/1/10, 'wela Brown wrote:

<<< You all how curious I am, so: What does Maundy Thursday mean?
Hywela >>>
Behold the power of teh Google:
[From Middle English maunde, ceremony of washing the feet of the poor on this day, from Old French mande, from Latin (novum) mandtum, (new) commandment (from Jesus's words to the Apostles after washing their feet, John 13:34); see mandate.]
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Maundy+Thursday
Dorcas

well-informed Pagan

From: Lady Tanwen

Date: November 24, 2009 8:26:33 AM CST

To: CALONTIR at listserv.unl.edu

Subject: [CALONTIR] Candlemas, Imbolc & Lent


Thomas' post prompted a little research of my own, and thank you for triggering the thirst for the knowledge Thomas. At any rate, this is what I found.
And February 1st then brings us to Imbolc. There various derivations are Imbolc which is derived from Ol-mec or ewes milk signifying the ewes have begun lactating and Im-bolg (swelling belly) in honor of the swelling belly of the earth goddess. February 1st is the celebration of St. Brigid who began as a pagan goddess and ended up a Christian saint. She was the goddess of fire and fertility. In her temple at Kildare, vestal virgins tended an eternal fire. On her feast day, her statue was washed in the sea (purification) and then carried in a cart through the fields surrounded by candles.

The legends about the goddess, Brigid, gradually became associated with Saint Brigid who founded the first convent in Ireland at Kildare.

February 2nd falls midway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox and in many traditions is considered the beginning of spring.
The Catholic church , as it was wont to do, found an opportunity to superimpose a Christian holiday on this pagan festival. Jewish women went through a purification ceremony 40 days after the birth of a male child (80 days after the birth of a female child). So in the 6th century (according to J.C. Cooper in The Aquarian Dictionary of Festivals, February 2 (which falls 39 days after Christmas) was declared the feast of the Purification of Mary. The theme of purification remained a link between the two holy days.
Interestingly enough, in Hungary, February 2nd is called Blessing of the Candle of the Happy Woman. In Poland, it is called Mother of God Who Saves Us From Thunder.
Since Lent can sometimes begin as early as February 4th, some Candlemas customs became associated with Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras) and the beginning of Lent, which is a time of purification.

There are abundant pieces of information regarding the various religious practices of both Christian and Pagan faiths. What's interesting to me is how so may of the religions walk hand in hand with each other and so closely resemble the other yet are so vastly different.

Some of my most favorite authors bring the "old" traditional celebrations back to life in their books and it's because of this that I started looking into the celebrations. What they signified, why and when (if possible) the traditions started.
Tanwen

From: Lorraine Gehring

Date: November 24, 2009 10:13:29 AM CST

To: CALONTIR at listserv.unl.edu

Subject: Re: [CALONTIR] Candlemas, Imbolc & Lent
At 08:26 AM 11/24/2009, you wrote:

<<< So ... February 2 (which falls 39 days after Christmas) was declared the feast of the Purification of Mary. >>>
Actually, it would be 40 days if you count like a Roman. And the early Church clearly counted like Romans.
Romans count the both the beginning day and the ending day, so it would be 40 days. Think about the Easter passage "And on the third day He rose again." From Friday afternoon to Sunday morning is not three days, not unless you count Friday, Saturday and Sunday (Sunday being the third day). That particular piece of Scripture confused me every Easter for years.
Lorraine

Date: Wed, 22 Sep 2010 16:22:12 -0600

From: Susan Lin

To: Cooks within the SCA

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] candying citron
Since the spelling is a transliteration of Hebrew it's okay to spell it any

number of ways. Sukkot, Sukkoth. The dwelling is a Sukka(h). The Sukkah

is a temporary structure consisting of 2, 2 1/2, 3 or 3 1/2 sides - never

4. The roof is open to the sky. Some people live in the for the week of

the festival others just have meals. In religious school they would set one

up and the kids would decorate it with symbols of the fall harvest using

dried corn stalks for the "roof" - living in upstate New York that was what

we had - I'm sure in other parts of the world they use what they have.


The "religous" part is waving of the lulav and the etrog - special branches

and a special citrus fruit - one of the big things is that the little nob

that connected the fruit to the tree must remain in tact or it is no longer

"kosher". There are of course blessings and you wave them together front,

back, left, right and then "all around".
We were taught that it commemorate that the Jewish people were farmers and

as such when it was harvest time they needed to bring the harvest in as

quickly as possible. Instead of going home each night they built these

temporary shelters to live in while they brought in the harvest.


Shoshana
On Wed, Sep 22, 2010 at 4:12 PM, Ian Kusz wrote:
I've always seen it spelled, "Sukkot." It's the Feast of Booths, mentioned

in the Bible/Torah. Yeah, it's definitely period. To commemorate the

wandering of the Children of Israel, people go out and make and decorate

booths (temporary dwellings/tabernacles) and have a big picnic and some

music and a religious observance.
In all, kind of like an SCA Event. Only, "churchy." Oh, excuse me,

"templey."


On Sat, Sep 18, 2010 at 1:14 AM, Stefan li Rous

wrote:

Devra asked:



<<< We are approaching Sukkah, the Jewish fall harvest festival, when

they sell beautiful unblemished esrog (etrog) or citrons to use in the

ceremonies. >>>
Can someone relate more details about this Sukkah? This is a Jewish holiday

that I've not heard of. I assume it is at least period and probably much

more ancient.

From: Elizabeth Bair

Subject: [tri-temp] History of Martinmas

Date: October 5, 2010 10:47:47 AM CDT

To: trimaris-temp at yahoogroups.com
It's come up a couple times recently that some newer members of our

fair Kingdom are confused about the name of Trimaris' Fall Crown Lyste

event - Martinmas Moot. The event is NOT named after Duke Martin and

isn't related to him in any way. So? What *is* Martinmas Moot?


Well, first off - a "moot" in Anglo-Saxon England was an assembly,

mainly of the shire, where local legal and amdinistrative issues were

dealt with.
Martinmas is actually a contraction of "Martin", meaning St. Martin of

Tours, and "Mass", which refers to the Catholic celebration of the

Eucharist. When combined in this way, the term specifically means the

day on which the Mass celebrating a specific saint is performed, thus

the day itself takes on the saint's name. In the Catholic Calendar,

nearly every day of the year has a designated saint or Holy person who

is commemorated. More important saints, especially those whose Mass

falls on or near days that were important for other reasons

(solstices, ancient holidays, etc) became associated with larger

festivals and celebrations than simply a mass or service in their

name. Medieval people didn't have desk or wall calendars, but they

knew when the various Saints Days fell, thanks to the Church. Often

you'll find in medieval documents the date is given as "X days before

Martinmas" of "X weeks after Easter" or "X days after Michaelmas" in

addition to, or even instead of, a calendar date.
St. Martin of Tours was born around A.D. 316 in Szombathely, Hungary

and grew up the son of a Roman military officer in Pavia, Italy. He

joined the Roman army and was sent to Amiens, where, on horseback, he

met a starving man begging alms at the city gates. Moved by deep

compassion, he tore his red, woolen his cloak in two with his sword

and gave half to the beggar. The next night, he had a dream in which

he saw Jesus wearing the half of the cloak he'd given away, surrounded

by angels. In the dream, Jesus asked him to look at it and to see if

he recognized it. He did, of course, and realized that he must convert

and devote his life to Christ. St. Martin's remaining piece of cloak

became a very revered relic. In fact, the building where his cloak

("cappa" in Latin) was preserved was known as the "cappella," -- the

root of our words "chapel" and "chaplain.")
There’s a lot of information available about his life and deeds – look

it up if you are interested.


St. Martin is the patron saint of beggars, vintners, equestrians,

soldiers, tailors, innkeepers, alcoholics, and geese. He is usually

depicted on horseback, handing half of his cloak to a beggar, or

relinquishing his arms. His symbol is the goose.


St. Martin's Feast is considered the first day of Winter (and the last

day of Autumn) for practical purposes, so, alluding to the snows of

that season, the Germans say that "St Martin comes riding on a white

horse." Of course, it might not feel like Winter if one is

experiencing a "St. Martin's Summer" -- the equivalent of an "Indian

Summer." It is said, too, that one can predict what sort of Winter one

will have by the conditions of St. Martin's Day: "If the geese at

Martin’s Day stand on ice, they will walk in mud at Christmas."


The Feast coincides with harvest time, the time when newly-produced

wine is ready for drinking, and the end of winter preparations,

including the butchering of animals. An old English saying is "His

Martinmas will come as it does to every hog," means "he will get his

comeuppance" or "everyone must die". Because of this, St. Martin's

Feast is much like the American Thanksgiving -- a celebration of the

earth's bounty. From the late 4th century to the late Middle Ages,

most of Western Europe, including England, engaged in a period of

fasting beginning on the day after St. Martin's Day/Martinmas. This

fast period lasted 40 days, and was, therefore, called "Quadragesima

Sancti Martini", which means in Latin "the forty days of St. Martin."

At St. Martin's eve, people ate and drank very heartily for a last

time before they started to fast. This period of fasting was later

shortened and called "Advent" by the Church.


In many countries, including Germany, Martinmas celebrations begin at

the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of this eleventh day of the

eleventh month. Bonfires were built, and children would carry lanterns

in the streets after dark, singing songs for which they are rewarded

with candy. This is may be where the American tradition of

Trick-or-Treat originated, as that is not a part of most European

Halloween celebrations.
And on a macabre final note, old superstitious folklore (not Catholic

teaching, of course!) says that if you stand in the back of the church

and look out over the congregants on St. Martin's Day, you can see

auras of light around the heads of those who will not be among the

living at the next Martinmas.
There are lots of other traditions surrounding Martinmas, or St.

Martin's Day, from all around the world. More modernly, November 11th

is also known as Veterans Day (in the US) or Armistice Day (also

Remembrance Day or Poppy Day). It commemorates the the sacrifices of

members of the armed services and of civilians in times of war,

specifically WWI. The major hostilities of World War I were formally

ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 with

the German signing of the Armistice. The poppy symbol is a result of

Canadian military physician John McCrae's poem "In Flanders Fields"

which refers to the profusion of red poppies that grow in the

battlefields and cemetaries where war casualties are buried.
So that's the medieval history lesson regarding Martinmas Moot.

Mistress Alysoun has the Trimarian history lesson regarding the event

itself. =)
Dulcia

Date: Sun, 16 Jun 2013 02:10:40 -0400 (EDT)

From: JIMCHEVAL at aol.com

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Fat tuesday food question
StefanliRous at austin.rr.com writes:

<< Is Fat Tuesday different from Mardi Gras? >>
It's a direct translation.
Other terms: Camicapium, Quaresme-prenant.
But I see no evidence that special meals were associated it with it as far back as our era.
This may be as complete a history of the day as one can find for England:
http://books.google.com/books?id=tZw9AAAAYAAJ&pg=PA43&dq=%22Shrove+tuesday%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=tVS9Uc22JKGSyQGp-oGgDg&ved=0CDAQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false
I've seen condemnations of similar activities early on in France because they were so close to the pagan rites which no doubt inspired them; the Church seems to have gotten more tolerant over time, but possibly after our period.
Jim Chevallier

North Hollywood, CA



www.chezjim.com


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