The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #131146 Message #2957265
Posted By: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
03-Aug-10 - 08:11 AM
Thread Name: Folklore: Loaf Mass
Subject: RE: Folklore: Loaf Mass
The early church was fairly explicit in their mission to appropriate existing feast-days and places of worship. Christmas Day is centred around the Winter Solstice, but as the venerable Mr Hutton pointed out on his appearance on The Victorian Farm, there has always been festivities during this period, which marks the shortest day / rebirth of the sun on one hand, and the onset of absolute winter on the other! To Roman Catholics however, Easter is the Big One - even if it is named after an Anglo-Saxon Goddess and celebrated to this day on the first Sunday after the first full-moon after the Spring Equinox. What lingers of the original festival? For sure, we hear mutterings of the pagan signifances with respect of Easter Bunnies and Egg Rolling, but this is very much in the remit of the folklorist to fantasise over such lost significances, much less their miraculous perseverance into modern times. Bunnies are bunnies, hares are hares, and eggs is eggs, just as Spring is Spring... It's not just folklorists though - the Jehovah's Witnesses take a great interest in establishing pagan origins in denying the festivals the rest of us take for granted.
I got a shock the other day when we went walking in the countryside and all my late summer / lammastide hedgerow signifiers were all in place - green haws, brambles, rowan berries, green elder berries etc. How quickly one loses touch with such things in moving from the country to the town, but how fundamental & potent such signifiers remain to a lapsed hedge-witch like myself. Time, I think, to open up the fireplace and get my mother's old stove in there - bearing in mind the Lammas moon isn't until the 24th, though some might have called it for the 26th of July which senms a tad sloppy given the calendar rule.