A new festival impulse

March 19, 2013

As Easter approaches, many of my southern hemisphere friends have been discussing how many of the Northern Hemisphere festivals sit or don’t sit well in our “reverse” seasons. For me, Easter and Christmas are so globally (and often commercially) celebrated I feel we cannot change their timing to suit our seasons, but instead need to look at the impulses and meanings of the celebrations from our new seasonal perspective. I have written about some of our festivals such as southern Autumnal EasterWhitsun, Martinmas, and other festivals
Other less well observed festivals such as Michaelmas and May day celebrations however could be moved to retain their essential seasonal impulses. Michaelmas could be well observed at or around St Georges day in Autumn, as there is much overlap in the stories, or ideas and themes behind them. St George musings here.

Needle felted St Francis

I wonder if conversely instead of May day we could instead incorporate the ideas of new beginnings and new growth and new life in the celebration of St Francis’s feast day at the beginning of October. It seems fitting in light of the newly elected pope (I am not a Catholic, but he does seem to hold the promise of fresh beginnings and the joy of life and love in the choice of his Namesake :-)
To me St Francis was born again in his faith, and started his life again afresh. He of course is also recognised as having an affinity to the natural world, which too fits so well with all the new life and creatures born in the spring. I’d love to hear what you think about the rhythm and observance of festivals “down under”.

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3 Responses to “A new festival impulse”

  1. Kate Says:

    You are such a clever person. Your musings are helping me considerably. as I have mentioned to you before I have very little experience with any of the festivals apart from commercial Christmas and Easter. What you talk about is certainly giving me some clarity and celebrating Michaelmas on St Geroge day and May day on St Francis’s feast day rings very true to me. Thanks so much.

  2. sarah Says:

    A post! A post! :-) I love what you have written here, I often felt that the northern hemisphere festivals, for all that they’re supposedly seasonal, should generally not be changed for the southern hemisphere, just because there’s so much richness of heritage and community spirit that is lost when we place them at the “right” time. And the deeply profound meanings reverberate even in the opposite season. And then, like you, I think we could add season-specific feast days.

  3. myartemismoon Says:

    A Comment! A Comment! :-) I have been a long time in coming back to posting here. It was difficult to keep posting when we were in Norway and UK for half a year, and then it seemed natural to continue to let it lie dormant for a while as life kept speeding on around us.
    It is heartening to hear you talk about reasons for not moving festivals with richness of heritage and community spirit. Your eloquence captures what I struggle to express. We had a fantastic St George/michaelmas inspired harvest festival at our local biodynamic farm Purple Pear http://purplepearorganics.blogspot.com.au/ I wish you could have been there!


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