THE HOLY DAYS
TO BE PERIODICALLY UPDATED
// Last Updated – 18/06/2017
As I draw upon a blended practice within a Heathen paradigm, I observe both traditional Anglo-Saxon and Roman holidays. These hālige dagas (holy days) are briefly described here. Though my home is a reconstructionist hearth, it nevertheless treats these holidays as contemporaneous developments.
Because the primary liturgical language of my home is English (Both Old English and New) efforts have been made to translate the Latin concept into Old English, if not the corresponding word. Italic and Roman holidays which have been incorporated will have their corresponding Latin name following the Old English translation/construction.
What follows are brief summaries. Links to direct entries for each holiday will be made, if necessary.
Forecynn Dagas (Parentalia)
Date: February 13th – February 21st
Literally “Ancestors Days” or “Days of the Ancestors”, Forecynn Dagas/Parentalia is the February festival celebrating the deceased ancestors of the family and the þingere/pater familias. They are offered flowers, wine-soaked bread, violets salt, and wheat. Often they are providing a true sacrificial banquet, but these are deaþgodas (di inferni), spirits of the underworld. They are those who dwell below, and proper care must be made in sacrificing to them.
Date: March 19th – 23rd
Fifdagas, “five days” is the festival to Modor Minerua (Minerva). Minerua, as a wisdom deity, has a special place in Eofores Holt Heorþ and receives cult on the anniversary of the consecration of Her temple on the Aventine.
Corresponds with modern Easter and the Spring Equinox, with cult given to Ēastre, the tutelary goddess of the Dawn.
Date: April 28th – May 3rd
In particular, Blōstmfrēols closes the season of Ēaster, with the sacrifice of the corn dolly made on Harvest through immolation or drowning.
Hellegast symbeltid (Lemuria)
Date: May 9th, May 11th, and May 13th
A trio of solemn days for the malevolent and restless dead, for maintaining their memory is as paramount as those of the benevolent ancestors. Sacrifices are offered as propitiation in order to keep the peace and avoid ill luck from these infernal spirits.
Date: June 7th – 15th
Festival specifically in honor of the goddess of the house Uesta and the spirits of the store chambers, cupboards, and the cofgods (penates).
Date: August 1st
Celebration of the harvest, and symbolic first offerings made to Ing, Beowa, and the ancestors, typically of bread and beer. The corn dolly is typically made around this time and kept until the next season’s Blōstmfrēols.
Date: August 23rd
A propitiatory sacrifice during the hot month of August to Wolcn in order to protect the home and livelihood from the ravages of fire. Traditional practices include sacrificing small fish into bonfires so that humans would not be harmed.
Date: Variable, first full moon in October
Celebration of the Autumn Equinox and the traditional beginning of Winter.
An event which is observed on the eve of the Winter Solstice/ Gēola. Connected to the worship of the ancestral Modru, the departed female ancestors, and the Matronae, as well as Frīg Heorþmōdor.
A holy time of dual meanings. It is at this time when the days are shortest and the nights coldest, and consists of both revelry and a celebration of lights in the darkness, as well as dealing with the adversity of the harsh season and the increasing activity of the restless dead. This is the time of the Wild Hunt, when Wōden leads His spectral host. Sacrifices made are often propitiatory in order to keep such malefic forces away.