Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Wheel Turns On

The state of the world right now is enough to make anyone stop to reflect on history and religion. Regardless of your religious, ethnic, or even political views the world around us is spinning. Riots in Egypt, War in Iraq, Afghanistan, Earthquakes, mudslides, floods, Volcanoes, the world is either on fire or under ice. It is befitting then, we pause to look ahead as we gather the pieces and leave the ruins behind. The Wheel turns on. We look forward to spring. The renewal of life to nature, as flowers begin to peak through the icy bleakness of winter and hope returns. How are you hastening in the change? Here are a few ways the rest of the world is. 

Groundhog Day is a holiday celebrated on February 2 in the United States and Canada. According to folklore, if it is cloudy when a groundhog emerges from its burrow on this day, it will leave the burrow, signifying that winter will soon end. If on the other hand, it is sunny, the groundhog will supposedly "see its shadow" and retreat back into its burrow, and winter will continue for six more weeks.[1]
Modern customs of the holiday involve celebrations where early morning festivals are held to watch the groundhog emerging from its burrow. In southeastern Pennsylvania, Groundhog Lodges (Grundsow Lodges) celebrate the holiday with fersommlinge,[2] social events in which food is served, speeches are made, and one or more g'spiel (plays or skits) are performed for entertainment. The Pennsylvania German dialect is the only language spoken at the event, and those who speak English pay a penalty, usually in the form of a nickel, dime or quarter, per word spoken, put into a bowl in the center of the table.[3]
The largest Groundhog Day celebration is held in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Groundhog Day, already a widely recognized and popular tradition[4], received worldwide attention as a result of the 1993 film of the same name, Groundhog Day, which was set in Punxsutawney and featured Punxsutawney Phil.[5]


Spring is Coming!:
Imbolc is a holiday with a variety of names, depending on which culture and location you’re looking at. In the Irish Gaelic, it’s called Oimelc, which translates to “ewe’s milk.” It’s a precursor to the end of winter when the ewes are nursing their newly born lambs. Spring and the planting season are right around the corner.
Depending on your particular tradition, there are many different ways you can celebrate Imbolc. Some people focus on the Celtic goddess Brighid, in her many aspects as a deity of fire and fertility. Others aim their rituals more towards the cycles of the season, and agricultural markers.

St.Brigid's Feast Day

It is said St. Brigid comes to visit on her Feast Day, blessing people and livestock, bringing her white, red-eared cow with her. To welcome her, families leave an oaten cake and butter on the windowsill -- and corn for her cow.

Families also hang a ribbon or handkerchief out on trees or clotheslines, believing that if the Saint touched it it would have curative powers. These ribbons or handkerchiefs are called "St. Brigid's Mantle."
Because of St. Brigid's association with fire, the
building of bonfires would be fitting, too, if you live in a temperate zone. Fire and light are the perfect segue into Candlemas tomorrow, too, a day known as a "Feast of Light."

And, yes, food is involved in the celebration of St. Brigid's life. Colcannon, Boxty Cakes, and St. Brigid's Oatcakes for the children are the thing:

Candlemas is a Christian holiday celebrated annually on February 2. It celebrates three occasions according to Christian belief: the presentation of the child Jesus; Jesus’ first entry into the temple; and it celebrates the Virgin Mary’s purification (mainly in Catholic churches).
Many Christians consider Jesus as the “light of the world” so it is fitting that candles are blessed on this day and that a candle-lit procession precedes the mass. It is traditional to eat crepes on Candlemas in some parts of Europe, such as France. Each family member prepares and cooks a crepe while holding a coin in hand. This is believed to assure wealth and happiness until the next Candlemas celebration.
Candlemas is also known as Candelaria in Spanish speaking countries. Whoever finds baby figures hidden inside the Rosca de Reyes (Kings Cake) on Epiphany on January 6 is obliged to bring food to a gathering held on February 2. Many Orthodox Christians celebrate this event by bringing beeswax candles to their local church and requesting for these candles to be blessed to be used in the church or at home. Some Christians observe the practice of leaving Christmas decorations up until Candlemas.

(Information above taken directly from noted sites:not original content)

Regardless of how you clebrate or even if you do, smile, the sun is coming back, the flowers will bloom and the birds will sing. Which reminds me,when is my next getaway? Cabin fever has defenitely set in !Off to plan an adventure,until next time,Thank you for stopping by.

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