Archive for the ‘folklore’ Category

4 Seasons – Spring 4 – May Day and Maypole   Leave a comment

I thought to look into another tradition that is well known in Europe.   May Day and the background of it.   It has both Christian and Pagan background.

The earliest May Day celebrations appeared in pre-Christian times, with the festival of Flora, the Roman Goddess of flowers, and the Walpurgis Night celebrations of the Germanic countries. It is also associated with the Gaelic Beltane. Many pagan celebrations were abandoned or Christianized during the process of conversion in Europe.  In this form, May Day may be best known for its tradition of dancing the Maypole and crowning of the Queen of the May.  The day was a traditional summer holiday in many pre-Christian European pagan cultures.  In the Roman Catholic tradition, May is observed as Mary’s month, and in these circles May Day is usually a celebration of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

A maypole is a tall wooden pole erected as a part of various European folk festivals, particularly on May Day.  There were 2 types of dances preformed with the Maypole.

Circle Dance
Dancers perform circle dances around a tall pole which is decorated with garlands, painted stripes, flowers, flags and other emblems. The circular dance is regarded as the most common and ancient Normand is thought by some to have Germanic pagan fertility symbolism, although there is a lack of evidence to support this. The circular dance is traditionally performed in the spring around the festival of May Day, but in Sweden it is during the midsummer festivities.

 Ribbon Dance
Dancers gather in a circle, each holding a coloured ribbon attached to a much smaller pole. As the dance commences the ribbons are intertwined and plaited either on to the pole itself or into a web around the pole. The dancers may then retrace their steps exactly in order to unravel the ribbons. This style of maypole dancing originates in the 18th century, and is derived from traditional and ‘art’ dance forms popular in Italy and France. These were exported to the London stage and reached a large audience, becoming part of the popular performance repertoire. Adopted at a large teacher training institution, the ribbon maypole dance then spread across much of England, and is now regarded as the most ‘traditional’ of May Day’s traditional characteristics.

in Norse paganism, which is the best attested form of Germanic paganism, cosmological views held that the universe was a world tree, known as Yggdrasil.

were a remnant of the Germanic reverence for sacred trees, as there is evidence for various sacred trees and wooden pillars that were venerated by the pagans across much of Germanic Europe, including Thor’s Oak and the Irminsul.  

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Dragon Day   Leave a comment

I declare today as dragon day.  I have a number of pictures with dragons it it.   Some with a dragon being very fierce and some with them as a pet or a familiar.  Dragons are considered to be fierce and strong, intelligent and sometimes having a human form.   I’ve read stories where dragons are the enemy and others where the dragon it good and helpful.   Either way they are at the top of the food chain.  Other dragon kin are Drakes and Waverns.     According to the Dungeons and Dragons world there are two types of Dragons.  There are the good dragons that are all metallic colours like bronze, silver, copper etc.   Then there are the evil dragons that are normal colours like red, blue, black etc.   Not all dragons breath fire either.    Some breath a poisonous gas and others breath lightning making there be a great variety of dragons.  Here are some of my favorite pictures.

This pic was titled Dragon Mage.   My thoughts on this one is either the dragon is her familiar or she is controlling the dragon with something magical or a spell.

4 Seasons – Winter 4   Leave a comment

I thought I’m mention something about Jack Frost who is a fantasy being.  My thoughts are that he is an elemental or a spirit of winter.   Here is what I dug up on him.

Jack Frost is a figure from folklore, an elfish creature who personifies crisp, cold weather. He is said to leave those beautiful patterns on autumn leaves and windows on frosty mornings. It is thought that he originated in Norse folklore as Jokul (“icicle”) or Frosti (“frost”). In Russia, frost is represented as Father Frost, a smith who binds water and earth together with heavy chains. In Germany however, it is an old women who causes it to snow by shaking out her bed of white feathers.  Some believe this representation originated in Germanic folklore specifically in the Anglo-Saxon and Norse winter customs.
 

Here is a pic I found of him:

Here is some more fantasy pics dealing with Winter:

I’m going to make one more winter post.   I will be adding some castles in winter for the full medieval fantasy effect.  Also I will add the last pics and poems.  See you later.