Wednesday, March 21, 2012

What happened to the First Day of Spring?




A walk in the countryside
What happened to the First day of Spring? Why do they change things?  I wanted to write about the first day of Spring, March 21 and found my traditional day is not quite the same.  The day moves. Okay. I can understand some government bureaucrat said let’s do it different and screw everything up.

So I did a little research.  Every culture has the celebration of Spring around the  spring solstice.  From Aztec to Egyptian, stone calenders were set to highlight the sun on certain days of the year. The spring solstice was prominent. Look at the remains of Stonehenge or the monuments on Easter Island.

Going back several thousand years, we find the Celtic  Lá na Féile Bríde, or the “Festival of Saint Bridget”, in Manx as Laán Arragh (Day of Spring), and as Candlemas or Bridget’s Day in English. Brighid, Bride or Bridget is yet another Pagan deity turned by the Christians into a “saint,” in order to co-opt Her worship. This goddess was a triple-faced deity, originally a Sun and Fire Goddess, of Poetry/Divination, Healing and Smith-craft, whose followers kept an eternal flame burning in Her honor. Note that as Brighid, a Druid and Celtic entity, Her three aspects are all the same age as each other, not the “Mother-Maiden-Crone” trinity.

Interesting is that St Bridget’s Day  is the celebration of the lambing and lactation of the ewes, a basic source of food and clothing.  The occasion of the birth of lambs (not to mention kids and calves) was a cause for rejoicing and a sign of life in the “dead” world of a Northern winter. Probably why we eat roast lamb on Easter.

This leaves me with my original question why change it?

Author Website: http://barbaraedwards.net



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8 comments:

Rosemary Gemmell said...

I'm glad you've mentioned that, Barbara! Here was I thinking today (21st) was the first day of spring and it was being heralded yesterday. First time I remember that happening.

Brenda Whiteside said...

With six inches of snow on the ground here on the prairie, I forgot all about spring. I'm in a spring state of mind!

Barbara Edwards said...

Hi Rosemary,
I noticed when they changed the first day of autumn. I guess I'm just nit-picky about things.
Barbara

Barbara Edwards said...

Hi Brenda,
since I'm in florida with unseasonably warm days, I can't sahre your pain. lol I do remember lots of snow in Connecticut for many first days of spring, even Easter had its share.
Barbara

Jannine Gallant said...

The spring equinox (1st day of spring) is based on when the earth is equi-distant from the sun (not tilted toward or away from it on its axis.)They've got it lined up to the exact minute on some websites. So I guess that's why it can vary by a day.

It's amazing to me that these ancient civilizations had it figured out without all our modern equipment. Very cool blog, Barbara.

Jerri Hines said...

For the first time since I can remember, Spring in New England feels like summer. At least for a couple of days...and I'm not complaining.

Barbara Edwards said...

Hi Jerri,
You know what Mark Twain said about the New England weather.
Barbara

Barbara Edwards said...

Hi Jannine,
I found this information doing research on my next paranormal.
Barbara