Archive for the ‘Seasons’ 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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4 Seasons – Spring 3   1 comment

I had my friend look into the history of the Easter Bunny and this is the article he wrote that I will share with you.

Origin of the Easter Bunny

Researched by: Thomas Niemoller

Easter is believed to originate from the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Easter as a christian holiday marks the end of lent. Lent is a forty day period of fasting, prayer, and penance. This is done in celebration of the resurrection of Christ.

The Easter Bunny or Easter Rabbit/Hare first originated in the 1500’s (early 16th century). The first edible Easter eggs were first seen in Germany and were made from pastry and sugar. Easter was introduced to America when German settlers arrived in the Pennsylvania Dutch sometime in the 18th century. The arrival of the Easter Bunny at this time was looked upon almost as highly as Santa Claus on Christmas Eve.

The original tradition of Easter was for children to build nests for the Easter bunny to lay its eggs in. Children often built these nests out of old bonnets and hats, they would then need to hide the nest in a secluded area of the house. The way Easter worked then would be if the children were good that year (similar to hanging stockings on Christmas), The Easter bunny would come and lay its brightly colored eggs in the nests that the children built. The Eastern nests later evolved into the modern day Easter basket after the tradition spread.

The true reason why the coloring of eggs us unknown many believe that the coloring of the eggs symbolized fertility and the coming of spring with the many colors of flowers blooming at the time of year.

And here is an Easter Poem I found.

Eastertime Fairies

At eastertime the fairies
Enjoy the warmth of spring,
The budding of the flowers,
And all the birds that sing!

There’s magic in the sunshine,
A soft and gentle breeze,
Sweet butterflies that flitter by,
And leaves upon the trees!

Come join them in their spring-fest;
Celebrate with mirth;
Shake off the chills of winter,
And watch the world give birth!

©2010 Randi Kuhne

4 Seasons – Spring 2   Leave a comment

Here are two poems that deal with Springtime.

Awake, thou wintry earth –
Fling off thy sadness!
Fair vernal flowers, laugh
Your ancient gladness!
~Thomas Blackburn, “An Easter Hymn”

And Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth’s dark breast
rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.
~Percy Bysshe Shelley, “The Sensitive Plant”

Posted April 22, 2011 by Sweetrivers in fairies, fairy, fantasy, Holidays, Seasons, Spring

4 Seasons – Spring   Leave a comment

Well today starts our Easter weekend.   Happy Easter all.   It’s also spring and a time of renewal and rebirth.   It were the trees start budding and tulips and daffodils start popping up out of the ground.   It just makes you want to live and breathe and dance.  Take in the warmer days yet still sleep on a cool night.    And lots of rain and thunder storms that light up the sky.  There is a lot of beauty to be seen and a lot of births that happen.  If you go to a park you will start to see ducklings and goslings.

Posted April 22, 2011 by Sweetrivers in fairies, fairy, fantasy, Holidays, Seasons

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4 Seasons – Winter 5   1 comment

Here is another poem  dealing with winter.  I hope you guys like it.

The First Day of Snow

Snow, is a luxury
In our tropical world
Snow is a fable
Never saw, never touched, never smell

The first day of snow drifting onto a winter wonderland
The first time I felt it, on my face, around me
Boundless joy, wonder, ecstasies
Unreal, beautiful, white
A winter wonderland of ecstasies
Just for me

Silvery icicles, hanging off branches golden like the autumn days fading into winter
Silvery, like fairy tales
Pond of frozen winter clear, ducks swimming chasing their own tails
In ecstasies, in wonder, like a fairytale unfold

Snow, is a luxury
Unreal, beautiful, unbelievably soft
Boundless wonder, boundless joy
A magical world of snowy white
God’s glorious creation

A winter wonderland,
Beautiful beyond measure

Iris Rain

I went and looked up some pictures of castles in Europe durring the wintertime to get the medieval feel going here.

This makes me think of big feast halls with fires in gigantic fireplaces while the noble drink mead and they feast of giant boars and dogs at their feet that they throw bones too.   What about horse drawn sleighs through a quiet forest blanketed with snow.     Or riding a horse on the castles land on freshly fallen snow.     The wind blows across the moore and the pond is frozen over.

This is the end of our Winter section.   You wouldn’t know it today where I am.    It was snowing then sunny then snowing then sunny again.  Then we had a blizzard for a while but then it got windy and sunny again.   I swear mother nature is laughing her ass off at us right now.  Anyways next weekend I will be doing spring which that it is totally by fluke that it happens to be Easter that weekend.    So good bye winter and hello spring.

Posted April 17, 2011 by Sweetrivers in elf, Elves, fairy, fantasy, Seasons, Winter

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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.

4 Seasons – Winter 3   Leave a comment

I did a little research to some of the holidays that fall over the winter season.   Here is what I came up with.

 The Winter Solstice was celebrated on the shortest day of the  has been celebrated for thousands of years in the Nothern Hemesphere.   It represented a cycle of nature finishing and a new one starting.  In Old Europe is was know as Yule.

The origins of the now traditional Christmas Celebration, distinct from earlier pagan winter holidays, date to sixth century England. By the middle ages, it was a well established important holiday, with traditional pageantry, customs, music and feasting all its own. Customs from pre Christian days were incorporated into the Celebrations, and many still remain.

On December 25, Christians around the world will gather to celebrate Jesus’ birth. Joyful carols, special liturgies, brightly wrapped gifts, festive foods—these all characterize the feast today, at least in the northern hemisphere

December 25 was also the Day of Saturnalia, a celebration dedicated to the Chief god, Saturn, during which time there was much drinking, many banquets, and presents were exchanged.

New Year’s Day is observed on January 1, the first day of the year on the modern Gregorian calendar as well as the Julian calendar used in ancient Rome. With most countries using the Gregorian calendar as their main calendar, New Year’s Day is the closest thing to being the world’s only truly global public holiday, often celebrated with fireworks at the stroke of midnight as the new year starts. January 1 on the Julian calendar currently corresponds to January 14 on the Gregorian calendar, and it is on that date that followers of some of the Eastern Orthodox churches celebrate the New Year.

Chinese New Year is celebrated in many countries around the world. It is the first day of the lunar calendar (but corrects for the solar every three years. Normally falls between 20 January and 20 February). It can be seen internationally since the Chinese population is widely spread out. It is celebrated with plenty of good food, lucky red envelopes (filled with money), families, and many things red (which resembles good luck). Lion and dragon dance, drums, fireworks, firecrackers, and other entertainments will fill the streets. It is the favorite holiday for many Chinese adults and children.

Saint Valentine’s Day, commonly shortened to Valentine’s Dayis an annual commemoration held on February 14 celebrating love and affection between intimate companions. The day is named after one or more early Christian martyrs named Saint Valentine, and was established by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD. It was deleted from the Roman calendar of saints in 1969 by Pope Paul VI. It is traditionally a day on which lovers express their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as “valentines”). The day first became associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished,

Imbolc, February 1st or the first Full Moon in Aquarius, is a time of cleansing and newborn lambs. The name, Imbolc, comes from the word ‘oimelc’ or sheep’s milk. It is a festival of the Maiden in preparation for growing and renewal.