Browsing the archives for the Calendar Myths category

The Ritual of the Gift

A Time magazine article this week notes that traditional ink-and-paper paper books are seeing a surprising spike in sales this year, as they did last year, despite the meteoric rise in popularity of ebook readers. The article flails for causes: “The holiday spike may reflect this year’s partial lifting of economic gloominess.” If that’s true, why was there one […]

The Meaning of Samhain/ Hallowe’en: Past and Future

I love both the old Celtic holiday of Samhain and the modern secular holiday of Hallowe’en, despite the over-commercialization of the latter. They are two different holidays. For me, they are both magical. Personally, I celebrate Samhain by honoring my ancestors: I light a candle and spend some time remembering my Nana, my other relatives, […]

Sopdet, Egypt’s Herald of the New Year

Set your calendars, Egypt. No, not for 2/11/2011. (Congratulations and good luck!) I’m talking about August 2nd, when a very old Egyptian goddess is set to rise. Like most agrarian societies, the Egyptians watched the skies closely. They needed some sort of calendar to tell them when to plant and plan their harvests. The regular […]

The Curious Myth of Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day Ceremony Photo Credit: Aaron E. Silvers, CC America’s Groundhog Day, February 2nd, is a puzzling, fascinating, contradictory calendrical festival whose roots may go back to pre-Christian European traditions — and then again, they may not. What fascinates me about Groundhog Day is that it seems to follow the same pattern as many ancient […]

2011: Chinese Year of the Rabbit

2011 is the Chinese Year of the Rabbit; the year is 4709 in the Chinese calendar. It starts on February 3rd by our calendar, which falls on the feast of Brigid in the Celtic calendar. I told you the myth of the Chinese New Year in 2008, but it’s time to revisit! In brief, the […]