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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in holiday

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

This year Halloween will have a full moon. It should also have full bellies-- full of candy. Just like all years. Instead of having trick or treaters come to the door and ring the bell, my neighbors and I have decided we're going to set up tables and chairs outside and give away candy outside near the curb. I keep seeing people on the net saying Halloween is canceled, but plenty of other events are happening outdoors and Halloween is an important community ritual. Plus wearing masks is part of the tradition! There's no reason it can't be done safely. Keep it outside, keep groups apart from other groups, and it's no different from any other outdoor event.

I'm not going to be personally putting candy into the kids' sacks this year, I'm going to let him help themselves from the bowl. I'm just going to be out there to be sure one kid doesn't take it all, just like my neighbors will be doing. This is going to be a no contact event for me and Halloween still goes on.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Snake Patrick Day

Happy Celtic Heritage Day!

Many Asatruars and other heathens and pagans don't celebrate St. Patrick's Day because it's a Christian holiday. As practiced in the USA, though, it's more a secular celebration of Irish culture, and of our idea of Irish culture (green beer is an American thing.) At this time of year, many of us are still circulating that story that the legend of Patrick driving the snakes out of Ireland was really about driving out the Druids.

This is an interesting example about how mythology changes over time to suit the culture telling the story. For us modern people, we want to see the snakes as a symbol of something else because we don't need a magical explanation for why they are no snakes on that island. Our bedrock belief is in science. When we read a myth that purports to explain why a thing in nature is the way it is, we automatically read it as a metaphor, because we just don't think that way.

For the medieval people who ascribed the snake story to "St. Patrick" it was a story about a miracle, about a man wielding godlike magical powers, which somehow proved he must be channeling the power of a particular god. Who got to be called saint and who was instead called witch for demonstrating the same supernatural magic is a study in sociology.

Image: photo of me in a parade.

Image caption: I and other heathens parade with a Renfaire guild every year. This is about visibility, although I started doing this before I formalized the Heathen Visibility Project. As we march down the street with our hammers on, the message is: "See us. We are here; we are proud; we are part of this community."

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I associate St. Patrick's day with corn beef, cabbage and potatoes. Since reading books on Voodoo I also associate St. Patrick wi

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
December 2019 Heathen and Asatru Holidays

Moveable feasts in this time period include Krampuslauf, which is the weekend closest to Dec. 15th before Yule (Urglaawe.) Midwinterhoorn Blazen in the province of Overijssel Beginning of Advent until the Sunday following Epiphany (Netherlands.) Although Luciadagen is fixed on Dec. 13 elsewhere, it is 1 week before winter solstice among the Swedish minority in Finland.

5
Sinterklaas (Holland),
Sinterklaas Avond (Netherlands)

6
Samichlaus Abend (Switzerland),
Neklosdag (Luxembourg)

9
Day of Egill Skallagrimson (American Asatru, American Odinist)

13
Luciadagen (Norway),
Lusinatta (Sweden) 

14
Krampuslauf begins (Urglaawe)

15
Krampuslauf ends (Urglaawe)

20
Mother Night (alternate date) (American Asatru),
Ærre-Geól begins (Theod),
Julfest begins (German), Juleaften (Denmark)   

21
Yule (American Asatru, Theod),
Beginning of 12 Days of Yule (American Asatru, England),
High Feast of Yule (American Asatru),
Yuul begins (Urglaawe),
Yol (Icelandic Asatru),
Juledag (Denmark),
Midvinterblot (Swedish Forn Sed)

22 Mōdraniht (American Asatru)

31
Twelfth Night (American Asatru, England, Urglaawe),
Berchtaslaaf (Urglaawe),
Silvesterabend (Switzerland),
Nytarsaften (Denmark) 



Image: closeup of the word "jol" (Yule) spelled out in Elder Futhark runes in pie crust on an apple pie, pie made by Erin Lale, photo by Erin Lale.

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October and November 2019 Heathen and Asatru Holidays

Moveable feasts in this time period include the Feast of Ullr, which is a heathenization of the USA holiday Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving takes place on the fourth Thursday of November each year. The modern secular holiday Wolfenoot also takes place in November. It has been adopted by many heathens and pagans. Last year, 2018, was the first time Wolfenoot was celebrated, and it occurred on the same day as the USA's Thanksgiving, which gave it a boost among those seeking an alternative holiday to celebrate on that day. That also happened to be a full moon, which gave Wolfenoot a boost among those who already howl at the full moon. But Wolfenoot is a fixed date holiday, always on the 23rd of November, not a moveable feast like Thanksgiving.

October
1
Month of possible date of Disablot begins (Icelandic Asatru)

6
Oktoberfest ends (Munich, Germany)

8
Day of Erik the Red (American Asatru, American Odinist)

9
Leif Erikson Day (American Odinist), World Odin Prayer Day (Odinist)

12
Day of Leif Erikson and Freydis Eriksdottir (American Asatru)

14
Winter Nights (alternate date) (American Asatru)

28
Day of Erik the Red (alternate date) (American Asatru)

29
Winterfyllith begins (American Asatru)

30
 Winter Nights (American Asatru),
Alf-blessing (American Asatru),
Freyr-blessing (American Asatru),
Allelieweziel begins (Urglaawe)

November
1
Winter Entdeckung (Germany)

2
Winterfyllith ends (American Asatru)

9
Day of Queen Sigrid (American Asatru, American Odinist)

10
Allelieweziel ends (Urglaawe)

11
Einherjar’s Day (Universalist American Asatru),
Hollersege (Urglaawe),
Ewicher Yeeger Sege (Urglaawe),
Marten Gas (Norway) 

21
Alfablot (Asatru)

23

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June and July 2019 Heathen and Asatru Holidays

Maienzug (Aarau, Switzerland) takes place every year on the first Friday in July. It's an example of a moveable feast, that is, a holiday that is not on the same date every year. The following is a list of holidays with fixed dates which are celebrated by heathens or heathen-derived cultures.

June
8
Lindisfarne Day (American Asatru, American Odinist)

9
Day of Sigurd (American Asatru, American Odinist)

21
Midsummer (Urglaawe, England),
Hleifblot (American Asatru),
Líða (Theod),
Mittesommer (Germany),
Sommersonnewende (Germany),
Hochsommer Fest (Switzerland),
Midsommar (Norway),
Midsommardagen (Sweden)   

July
7
Lindenfest begins (Geisenheim, Germany)

9
Day of Unn the Deep-Minded (American Asatru), Lindenfest ends (Geisenheim, Germany)

15 Month of possible date of Hoietfescht begins (Urglaawe)

29 Stikkelstad Day (American Asatru)

31 Month of possible date of Honoring of the Weisskeppichi Fraa ends (Urglaawe)

Some moveable feasts require knowing the date of other feasts to derive their dates. Pinkster is on the fiftieth day after Easter, aka Whitsunday (in Deventer, province of Overijssel, Netherlands)
Pinkster Bruid or Pinksterbloem on Whit Tuesday (in Volte, Ootmarsum, Markelo, Rijssen, Hellendoorn, Hengelo, and other communities, province of Overijssel, Netherlands.)

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    You're welcome, and thanks! Have a great day!
  • Shawn Sanford Beck
    Shawn Sanford Beck says #
    Right ... thanks for the explanation. Have a beautiful weekend!
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    It's on the official calendar of some groups. I'd guess it was probably intended as "fight the Christian oppressor." That was a po
  • Shawn Sanford Beck
    Shawn Sanford Beck says #
    Hmmm ... Is "Lindisfarne Day" an actual thing? Seems a bit of an odd and disturbing event to celebrate ... I wonder what others i

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Asatruars Embrace Wolfenoot

Some Asatruars have embraced the new pop culture holiday Wolfenoot, invented by a child as a holiday to honor canines, including dogs and wolves, and the people who love them. Some Asatruars have also started their own animal related holidays in reaction to Wolfenoot, including Kitten Nacht and Bearenfornia.

The 7 year old boy who invented Wolfenoot wanted a holiday in which the wolf spirit brings gifts to people who have been kind to dogs. It is celebrated by eating roast meats and a cake decorated to look like the full moon. It is celebrated on Nov. 23rd; the child stated that was the date when the Great Wolf died, according to the original post by the boy's mother, Jax Goss.

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  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Anthony, certainly someone should tell them what it's all about!
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Here in Virginia they make a big to-do about the first thanksgiving being held at Berkley Plantation two years before the pilgrims

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Why I No Longer Celebrate Freyfaxi

Freyfaxi is an American Asatru holiday based on the American Wiccan holiday Lammas. Lammas means loaf mass, that is, a holiday celebrating harvest and the baking of loaves of bread. It is generally celebrated on August 1st.  In the early days of American Asatru, Asatruars borrowed Lammas from Wicca and then tried to find an appropriate heathen name for it. They knew that in ancient times, heathens regarded the horse an an appropriate animal for sacrifice. They found the name of a horse in the lore and named the holiday after the horse. 

I have been reading The Sagas of the Icelanders and just read the one about the horse. The name of that story is the Saga of Hrafnkel Freysgodhi. The story is a tragedy, in that Hrafnkel brought about his own downfall through his tragic flaw of rashness. Hrafnkel swore a rash oath to kill any man who rode his stallion Freyfaxi, whom he had dedicated to Freyr. Someone rode the horse, and Hrafnkel killed the man. Hrafnkel was outlawed for it. He lost his chieftanship / priesthood, his land, and the horse, too. 

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