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The Great Sun Jester
01-18-2006, 12:11 PM
May 1 or first full moon after May 1?

Not the same as May Day is it? Or is that similar to the Samhain/Halloween conflation?

Cat Jones
01-18-2006, 02:51 PM
May 1 or first full moon after May 1?

Not the same as May Day is it? Or is that similar to the Samhain/Halloween conflation?I always thought it was the vernal equinox ... when the days and nights are equal length but that would make it earlier than May so I could be wrong.

FriarTed
01-18-2006, 02:53 PM
May 1 or first full moon after May 1?

Not the same as May Day is it? Or is that similar to the Samhain/Halloween conflation?

Beltane's starts at evening of April 30 & continues into May Day. I could see some modern Pagans also having a special celebration for the next full moon. Also, I read on one Pagan site that the actual date is linked to our position in the Zodiac (example- Samhain is actual when we are fifteen degrees in Scorpio, thus technically should be more near November 6, or the midpoint between the Autumn Equinox and the Winter Solstice).

(Googling +"Samhain"+"degrees"+"Scorpio" got me a lot of results-

http://www.geomancy.org/quarter&cross/samhain.html

http://www.declination.org/articles/pn-mayqueen.htm

http://www.witchvox.com/va/dt_va.html?a=usfl&c=holidays&id=2203

for example.)

http://www.geomancy.org/quarter&cross/beltane.html
does not indicate that the alternate principles apply to Beltane.

*sings to self*
"Take the flame inside you
Burn and burn below
Fire seed and fire seed
And make the baby grow..."

(from the film THE WICKER MAN)

FriarTed
01-18-2006, 03:00 PM
Yep-

http://www.witchvox.com/holidays/beltaine/beltainehistory.html

among other site, indicate that astrological Beltane is 15 degrees in Scorpio.

the geomancy site tho indicates that the Spring Equinox-Summer Solstice midpoint principle would be inaccurate for calculating Beltane
http://www.geomancy.org/quarter&cross/beltane.html


If I were a Pagan, I'd just go with sunset April 30 to sunset May 1, with additional acknowledgements on May 6 & the next full moon.

BrainGlutton
01-18-2006, 03:47 PM
See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wheel_of_the_year.

Andy Rooney once did a piece on how we should move Christmas to February -- no one knows when Jesus was born anyway, and we need a holiday when everybody's sick of winter. Of course, pagans already have Lammas. If we were all or mostly Wiccans in this society, our cycle of holidays would be very rational and convenient -- there would always be another one coming up in no less than six weeks.

yBeayf
01-18-2006, 04:09 PM
Andy Rooney once did a piece on how we should move Christmas to February -- no one knows when Jesus was born anyway, and we need a holiday when everybody's sick of winter. Of course, pagans already have Lammas.
Better to restore Candlemas to its former prominence. And Lammas is in August, not February, and is a Christian holiday that was co-opted by neo-pagans, rather than being an originally pagan holiday.

BrainGlutton
01-18-2006, 04:17 PM
And Lammas is in August, not February . . .

You're right, I meand Imbolc. Always get those confused.

Not sure if you're right about Lammas (even though it does have "-mas" in it). It might have been a pre-Christian Saxon harvest festival. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lammas:

In medieval times the feast was known as the "Gule of August", but the meaning of "gule" is unknown. Ronald Hutton suggests that it may be an Anglicisation of gwyl aust, the Welsh name for August 1 meaning "feast of August", but this is not certain. If so, this points to a pre-Christian origin for Lammas among the Anglo-Saxons and a link to the Gaelic festival of Lughnasadh.

Walpurgisnacht, BTW, is the same (chronologically) as Beltane, even though it's named for a Christian saint. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walpurgis_Night

yBeayf
01-18-2006, 05:00 PM
Not sure if you're right about Lammas (even though it does have "-mas" in it). It might have been a pre-Christian Saxon harvest festival.
I'm not quite following the logic of that Wikipedia article, i.e. why a medieval name for Lammas possibly deriving from Welsh would have anything to do with it being a pre-Christian Anglo-Saxon or Irish holiday. And in any case, the Celtic pagans certainly didn't come up with the idea of having a harvest festival in August -- the first fruits of the harvest are to this day blessed on August 6 in the Byzantine church.

FriarTed
01-18-2006, 05:22 PM
I'm not quite following the logic of that Wikipedia article, i.e. why a medieval name for Lammas possibly deriving from Welsh would have anything to do with it being a pre-Christian Anglo-Saxon or Irish holiday. And in any case, the Celtic pagans certainly didn't come up with the idea of having a harvest festival in August -- the first fruits of the harvest are to this day blessed on August 6 in the Byzantine church.


There is indeed the festival of Lughnasadh, but has it been shown to have a pre-Christian history?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lughnasadh

yBeayf
01-18-2006, 06:11 PM
There is indeed the festival of Lughnasadh, but has it been shown to have a pre-Christian history?
There's the question of what Lughnasadh, an Irish holiday, would have to do with a supposed Welsh harvest festival that turned into a Christian harvest blessing that has counterparts all throughout Christendom. Those sneaky Christians, always blessing the harvest at the time of the harvest!

The Great Sun Jester
01-18-2006, 06:26 PM
Those sneaky Christians, always blessing the harvest at the time of the harvest!There's a lot of this kind of overlap (to use a nice word for it). Easter, Christmas, Halloween...Same wine, different bottle I say. A celebration needs to be had a certain times of the year. Call it what you like, but there's gonna be a fire and there's gonna be a nod to a god for not crushing us all on a whim like ants.

More questions: what would be the cause of disagreement as to how to calculate the proper time for celebration? Too many calendars? Have the stars shifted too much to make the zodiac reliable? Who decided the chihuahua was a dog?

BrainGlutton
01-18-2006, 07:10 PM
.And in any case, the Celtic pagans certainly didn't come up with the idea of having a harvest festival in August -- the first fruits of the harvest are to this day blessed on August 6 in the Byzantine church.

If it's a question of who did it first, I don't think there's any doubt that Celtic paganism (not to be confused with modern neopaganism) is much older than Christianity.

yBeayf
01-18-2006, 08:54 PM
If it's a question of who did it first, I don't think there's any doubt that Celtic paganism (not to be confused with modern neopaganism) is much older than Christianity.
What I'm saying is that if the ancient Celts had a harvest festival at the beginning of August, and the Christians had a harvest festival at the beginning of August, it doesn't necessarily follow that the Christians borrowed the idea from the pagans.

bizzwire
01-18-2006, 10:44 PM
The druids observed two festivals in each year. The former took place in the beginning of May and was called Beltane, or "Fire of God." On this occasion a large fire was kindled on some elevated spot, in honour of the sun, whose returning benificence they thus welcomed after the gloom and desolation of winter. Of this custom a trace remains in the name given to Whitsunday in parts of Scotland to this day. Sir Walter Scott uses the word in the "Boat Song in the "Lady of the Lake"

"Ours is no sapling, chance sown by the fountain,
Blooming at Beltane in winter to fade;" etc.


On preview I see that this is of no use in answering the OP, but I really like Bullfinch.