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 Easter, Whitsun, 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.
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”.