Saturday, December 31, 2016

Métis Hope 61

eugenia loli (perfect collages for new year's eve!):
eugenia loli 
Métis Hope 61 : I hope that the new year brings you lots of shiny things.

Winter Traditions and Holidays Part 29 - Métis

Métis New Year Traditions
  • is taken for family and reflection and to remember those who walked on
  • Many Metis people still welcome the New Year into their home by ringing a bell at the front door while previously tapping a muffled bell at the rear door to say goodbye to the Year Past.
  • Some will set out a plate of food for those who have walked on.
  • I don’t know if this was a Métis tradition, but each year my Mooshum (Grandfather) would dress up as a baby and dance around to bring in the New Year.  As kids we loved the silliness of this man dressed as a baby.
    • Baby New Year is a personification symbolizes the "birth" of the next year and the "passing" of the prior year
    • He is a baby at the beginning of his year, but Baby New Year quickly ages until he is elderly at the end of his year.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Métis Hope 60

Lynn Bywaters christmas art noel illustration:
Lynn Bywaters christmas art noel illustration
Métis Hope 60 : I hope your animal relations will pose photogenically for you this magical season.

Winter Traditions and Holidays Part 28 - Lohri Midwinter festival

Happy Lohri.jpgLohri Midwinter festival, celebration of Winter Solstice 13 January

  • A popular Punjabi festival.
  • Many people believe the festival commemorates the passing of the winter solstice as it was originally celebrated on solstice
  • Instead of celebrating on the day winter solstice occurs, it is celebrated on the last day of the month during which winter solstice takes place, thus commemorating the passing of the winter solstice.
  • A key feature of Lohri is bonfires which signifies the return of longer days.
  • Lohri is traditionally associated with the harvest of sugarcane crops. Sugarcane products are central to Lohri celebrations. The other important food item of Lohri is radish.
  • 10 to 15 days before Lohri, groups of youth go around singing and collecting logs for the bonfires. In some places, they also collect grains and jaggery which are sold and the sale proceeds are divided amongst the group.
  • A member of the group may smear his face with ash and tie a rope around his neck to act as a deterrent for people who refrain from giving Lohri items.
  • The boys will sing Lohri songs asking for Lohri items. If not enough is given, the householder will be given an ultimatum to either give more or the rope will be loosened. If not enough is given, then the boy who has his face smeared will try to enter the house and smash clay pots
  • The bonfire is lit at sunset in the main village square. People toss sesame seeds, gur, sugar-candy and rewaries on the bonfire, sit around it, sing and dance till the fire dies out. Some people perform a prayer and go around the fire. This is to show respect to the natural element of fire, a tradition common in winter solstice celebrations.
  • Milk and water is also poured around the bonfire by Hindus to thank the Sun God and see his continued protection.
  • Kite flying on Lohri is popular in some parts of Punjab.

Winter Traditions and Holidays Part 27 - Saturnalia

Image result for SaturnaliaSaturnalia

  • An ancient Roman festival in honour of the deity Saturn, held on 17 December and later expanded with festivities through to 23 December.
  • The holiday was celebrated with a sacrifice at the Temple of Saturn, and a public banquet, followed by private gift-giving, continual partying, and a carnival atmosphere that overturned Roman social norms: gambling was permitted, and masters provided table service for their slaves.[1] The poet Catullus called it "the best of days".]
  • In Roman mythology, Saturn was an agricultural deity who was said to have reigned over the world in the Golden Age, when humans enjoyed the spontaneous bounty of the earth without labor in a state of innocence. The revelries of Saturnalia were supposed to reflect the conditions of the lost mythical age.
  • Saturnalia is a festival of light leading to the winter solstice, with the abundant presence of candles symbolizing the quest for knowledge and truth
  • The statue of Saturn at his main temple normally had its feet bound in wool, which was removed for the holiday as an act of liberation.  The deity's image was then placed on a sumptuous couch, as if he were present and actively participating in the festivities. A public banquet followed.
  • The day was supposed to be a holiday from all forms of work. Schools were closed, and exercise regimens were suspended. Courts closed, so no declaration of war could be made.
  • After the public rituals, observances continued at home.
  • On 18 and 19 December, which were also holidays from public business, families conducted domestic rituals. They bathed early, and those with means sacrificed a suckling pig, a traditional offering to an earth deity.
  • The phrase io Saturnalia was the characteristic shout or salutation of the festival
  • Saturnalia was characterized by role reversals and behavioral license. Slaves were treated to a banquet of the kind usually enjoyed by their masters. And slaves could disrespect their masters without the threat of a punishment.
  • The Sigillaria on 19 December was a day of gift-giving and could include "gag gifts", Patrons or "bosses" might pass along a gratuity (sigillaricium) to their poorer clients or dependents to help them buy gifts.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Métis Hope 59

Métis Hope 59 : I hope you have firm friends to support you.

Winter Traditions and Holidays Part 26 - Uduvapa Poya festival

Uduvapa Poya festival
  • Observed in Sri Lanka on the Full Moon of December to commemorate two events
    • Theri Sangamitta’s day of arrival from India to establish the Order of Nuns
    • To mark her bringing a sapling of the sacred Bodhi-Tree.
  • This Observance is performed by Buddhists by first following the 'Five Precepts'; bathing, shaving, wearing white robes, and kneeling with clean bare feet in a shrine before a Buddha-statue and reciting prayers from sunrise until the next dawn.