Yesterday I got to take part in my friend Mr B’s Beltain Rit, and a rather wet one it was. Though it rained on us, it was a fun experience and a wonderful way to celebrate Spring.
I have had people ask me why I did not attend the sunrise gathering at High Park in Toronto on May 1st, for the Morris Dancers welcoming May Day. It’s fairly simple, I don’t follow a Celtic path.
Mr B is a Celtic Recon and my participation yesterday was me honouring his gods. They are his gods, not mine. Our gods do probably “chat” with one another, considering both our paths are Indo-European and have a common ancestry.
This got to my thinking. Is there this assumption in the Canadian Pagan “community” that all pagans follow the “8-fold Year”? I know I do not. For those who are even remotely interested, please look at the table below to get an idea of what my “calendar year” is.
Though I honour and respect others’ paths, I find it irksome that there is an assumption that we all do the same thing and observe the same days.
There’s also another reason why I do not have a personal observance for May 1st – May Day is when the Soviet Regime would demonstrate their might (and celebrate their conquests) on May 1st. Being the child of Eastern Europeans, this was not a happy day in my parents’ household whilst growing up.
|21/25 December||Kalėdos (Winter Solstice and New Year’s Day)||Homage to the Sun and blessings for the new solar year.|
|21 December-2 January/25 December-6 January||Tarpukalėdis (Intra-Solstice)||Days of rest. Traditional women’s and men’s work is forbidden.|
|25 January (in older practice: the first new moon, called the foal, after the Winter Solstice)||Pusiaužiemis (Mid-winter)||Synonymous with lunar new year. Krikštas and new year celebration.|
|2 Feb||Perkūno diena (Perkūnas Day)||Blessing of candles, linen and ever green trees|
|5 Feb||Gabijos diena (Gabija day)||Blessing of bread and people|
|Varies in February||Užgavėnės (Escort of Winter)||Rite to usher out winter.|
|24 February||Vieversio diena (Skylark day)||The beginning of Spring.|
|Varies in March||Verba (Flower and herb lance)||Preparation for Spring|
|20-21 March||Pavasario lygė (Spring Equinox)||Welcomes Spring. Blessing renewal of life.|
|Varies in April||Velykos (The Great Day)|
|23 April||Jorė||Celebrates new growth of Spring.|
|27 May||Sambarės||Celebrates new growth of crops|
|Varies in June||Sekminės|
|9-20/12-24 June||Pre Solstice Days. Preparation for the Sosltice.|
|21-24 June||Rasa a.k.a. Kupolinė (Dew, Herb Pole Day)||Homage to the sun and medicinal herbs.|
|21 June-2 July/25 June-6 July||Post Solstice Days.|
|25 July||Rugių šventė (Rye holiday)||Blessing of rye and other grain crops at the harvest.|
|20-21 September||Dagotuvės, Rudens Lygė(Autumnal Equinox)||Harvest celebration|
|28 October||Rudens Samborės|
|2 November||Ilgės a.k.a. Vėlinės (Lengthening, Day of Shades)||Remembrance of the dead|
|9-20/12-24 December||Prieškalėdis (Pre-Solstice)||Preparation for the solstice|
|20/24 Dec||Kūčios (Winter Solstice Eve)||Union between the living and the dead.|