Archive for ‘calendar’

May 2, 2016

Origins of the term ‘Easter’ are ANGLO-SAXON!!!

by eirenehogan

AAAGGGHHH!!!!  There are all these memes circulating the internet claiming the Ancient Near Eastern Goddess Ishtar is the origin of the name of Easter.

The theory seems to be based on the fact that the name sounds similar.  WHAT???  You can’t base etymology on that.  That is like saying, ‘the sun comes up every day, so, um, how does it get there?, well, it looks like someone must put it there, so, um, a god must put it there.’

Easter is NOT named after the Babylonian goddess Ishtar. Ishtar, as the great Goddess of Babylon, is an Akkadian name, and as such is SEMITIC.  The term ‘Easter’ is of Germanic origin.  It is an old Anglo-Saxon name.  And – despite some politicians foolishly believing English is derived from Latin (ie, Christopher Pain — oops I mean, Payne), Anglo-Saxon is a proud member of the Germanic language family.

Bede

The name is Easter is the English term for the Christian festival.  The Romans called it Pascha.  The Anglo-Saxons had a goddess named Eostre.  She was the goddess of spring and the month of the spring, most probably at the time of the spring equinox, was named after her, as was explained by Bede in his book ‘On the Reckoning of Time’.

That name, Eostre, has come down through Middle English and into Modern English, as ‘Easter’.

I would doubt very much that any Anglo-Saxons knew anything of Ishtar.

Jeez, do a bit of research!  In face, all you need to do is check Wikipedia. See the entry Names of Easter.


October 31, 2015

EARLY MENTION OF HALLOWEEN CELEBRATIONS IN AUSTRALIA – 1858.

by eirenehogan

Is Halloween ‘Un-Australian’?

My son reminded me recently that it is Halloween soon (yes, it is today).  He doesn’t want the trick or treating or the scary monster stuff, he just enjoys have a little celebration to mark Spring and that school will be over soon and Xmas and the long summer holidays will be coming.  We don’t have any formal spring celebration here (since Easter is the true ‘spring’ celebration, but for us it is in autumn).  So Halloween is a good one for it.

halloween 1858 vic

So many of the older generation seem to begrudge our kids – and young adults – the right to enjoy Halloween.  They are just showing their age.  We didn’t have it, so why should our kids have it?  Huh?  Why not?  Our younger generation have been doing it since at least the early 2000s, probably since the 1990s.  So they have grown up doing it, so for them it is now part of their everyday way of life in this country, ie, it IS Australian for them.

They aren’t doing it because of all the advertising in the shops, they are doing it most likely because of our modern global village world and with the internet they see so much of it that they want to do it too.  And why can’t they?  The only reason ever given is, ‘because it is American.’  Huh?  What sort of reason is that?  Sounds like prejudice to me.  Oh, it’s American = bad.  Funny how it is prejudice if you criticize any other culture, but they seem to think it isn’t prejudice when you criticise something because “it is American”.

‘Because it is not part of Australian culture.’  Oh, you mean it is not of Aboriginal heritage?  I doubt that is what the mean.  They mean because it didn’t come over with the first fleet.  To begin with, cultures are constantly evolving. I mean, if we didn’t allow cultures to evolve we’d all be living in the caves.  Hey, we don’t wear crinolines any more either and women have the vote, I mean, come on…

And as for it not coming over with the first fleet … well, don’t know about that.  It is an old Scottish tradition so would have come over here with any Scots, and there are mentions of it in colonial newspapers.  Here is an example of an early Halloween celebration held in Victoria – in Mount Alexander Mail, on 22 October 1858.

(source TROVE: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article199051715)

As I said, Halloween is an old Scottish tradition (how did it get to American? It isn’t an American Native tradition) and it is based on an old pagan Celtic tradition – Samhain.

But even apart from all that – why can’t we celebrate it in Australia? Huh? If we want to we can. That doesn’t mean we HAVE to if we don’t want to, it just means, if people think it is fun, why not go for it?

April 22, 2015

On this day 100 years ago … or more.

by eirenehogan
ANNIVERSARIES OF EVENTS 100 YEARS AGO OR MORE …
1915 April 25 Anzac landing, Gallipoli. World War I
1215 June 15 signing of Magna Carta, King John of England.
(Julian Calendar.
It  would be June 8 by Gregorian Calendar)
1815 June 18 Battle of Waterloo, against Napoleon
1415 October 25 Battle of Agincourt, the 100 Years War (England and France)
(St Crispins Day)
(Julian Calendar.
It would be October 16 by the Gregorian calendar)

 

January 11, 2015

The countdown till the next federal election in Australia

by eirenehogan

I can’t stand it anymore, I have to count down the weeks until freedom.

The first date til the next federal election can be called without a trigger (double dissolution and such … ) is 6 August 2016.  The LATEST date an election can be called is – wait for it … 14 Jan 2017.  Arrrghhh!!!  Horrifying.

So here is my chart that counts down until the earliest date.  From 1st January there were 83 weeks.

weeks til election

April 18, 2014

EASTER AND THE ANCIENT MYSTERY RELIGIONS

by eirenehogan

Great Eleusis ReliefMost ancient societies had a spring festival, to celebrate the ending of the cold winter and the beginning of the warmth again. With this warmth came the budding of new life, of plants, flowers, and often of the young of animals. In societies where food was dependent on an almost subsistence existence, ie, where your food depended on your own farm products, then spring was a very important time. Spring meant the growth of new food, both plant and animal. Without spring, all the food stores of winter would be very soon used up, and no more food would come. Without spring would be death.

In a pre scientific age, the most obvious explanation for the seasons were the whims of the gods. Something magic and other-world like would have to explain the seasons, what else would? The sun’s heat ranges from the heat of summer, then fades into the cold of winter. There would always be the fear that maybe one day the sun might not get hot again after winter, that it might continue to fade away and no warmth would return (“Winter is coming”).

Spring was seen as the rebirth of life, the rebirth of plants, and animals, and of the sun, and the very essence of life itself. In primitive societies, the rebirth was seen to be of the gods, or of a particular god or goddess who brought the rebirth of plants and animals with him/her. In ancient Egypt this god was Osiris and his associated Goddess, Isis. In ancient Greece the god Adonis was connected with it, as also was the Goddess Kore/Persephone, and the god Dionysus. In the ancient Near East there was the god Tammuz, who is mentioned in the Bible. These gods, by their discovery of rebirth, offered the secret of eternal life after death to humans. This could be gained by initiation ceremonies, which were often held in Spring, and involved a symbolic retelling of their myth of death and rebirth. The most famous one involved Persephone in the Eleusinian Mysteries of Athens.

When Christianity became the dominant religion in the Roman Empire the festival of the rebirth of Jesus Christ (Easter) took on many of the aspects of these mystery religions.

April 18, 2014

EASTER – SPRING FESTIVAL

by eirenehogan

There is nothing like that feeling when, for the very first time after winter, you walk outside and feel the slight warmth in the air, and smell the scent of fresh blossoms. Ahh, spring! You can virtually feel life oozing in the air. What a wonderful time for a festival.

Easter is the modern (post pagan) Spring Festival, but in Australia it is celebrated in Autumn, which makes it more like Halloween, which is the Anglo-Celtic autumn festival.

Australia have no religious festival in spring, but I feel the football grand finals in late September, and the Melbourne Cup in early November are our modern equivalent of a spring festival, when we celebrate the coming of warmth, and look forward to relaxing as the end of the year approaches and we can enjoy Xmas (our summer festival) and relax by the beach during a long lazy summer’s day.

January 16, 2014

Eastern Orthodox New Year

by eirenehogan

14th January, 2014, is new year according to the Eastern Orthodox church, or some of them, which has kept the Julian calendar – or a version of it –  instead of taking on the Gregorian calendar, which was introduced in 1582.

 

The Julian calendar had been introduced by Julius Caesar and added the leap year to make up 0.25 of a day each year was out.  But the year was actually out by 0.2425 of a day, ie, slightly LESS than a quarter of a day.  By the 1500s this meant the calendar was out by 10 days, and more importantly, meant Easter, which was meant to be celebrated at the time of the Spring equinox, was out, and so the reforms were brought in.

 

But while Catholic countries took it up quickly (as Gregory was the Pope) Protestant and Orthodox countries were suspicious of it.  It wasn’t taken up in England until 1752.

 

The Orthodox churches didn’t take it up within their church, although the countries did slowly adopt it as their civil calendar.  Russia took it up finally in 1918 (ie, after the revolution) and Greece did not take it up until 1923.  That’d be right, the Greeks never did like the Romans.

 

While most countries in the world have taken it up, some still have not, including – according to Wikipedia – Saudi ArabiaEthiopiaNepalIran and Afghanistan

January 4, 2014

THE EGYPTIAN CALENDAR

by eirenehogan

I have noticed I have a couple of followers on this blog.  Wow, thanks for that.  I think therefore I should post some more.

I’ve been reading a lot on calendars over the Yule period, and it is very complicated.  I will attempt to post more on it as time goes on.  But anyway, for now is some more info on the Egyptian calendar.

 

Bede wrote a fascinating book on how the year and the months were calculated according the movement of the sun, the moon and the planets.  It is a collection of the knowledge of the ancients that he could get a hold of.  It is called The Reckoning of Time (or the Latin thereof).  In it he examines ancient calendars, the Roman calendar and the Anglo-Saxon calendar.  You can access it from Google Books, and I have linked the above title to that.

 

Below I have transcribed the Egyptian calendar as he recorded it.  The dates of the beginning are according to the Roman calendar, and therefore ours – well, taking into account how often that calendar was out.  The months did not begin exactly on those days but give or take a day or so according to how accurately both the Egyptian and the Roman calendar reflected the actual cycle of the sun at the time.

 

Interesting to note that they had leap years.  I don’t know what era this calendar belongs too.  To say something is ‘Ancient Egyptian’ allows for about 3000 years of time.  As Bede has access to the info I’d assume it comes from Greek/Roman writers who had access to such places as the Alexandrian Library. Now as the Roman calendar dates are given, I am assuming this calendar was in force during Roman times.  Yeah, more research needed here.

 

 

Months

 

Name of month

Date of Roman Calendar when month begins

Thoth 29 August
Phaophi 28 Sept
Hathyr 29 Oct
Choiac 27 Nov
Tybi 27 Dec
Mecheir 26 Jan
Phamenoth 25 Feb
Pharmouhti 27 Mar
Pachons 26 April
Payni 26 May
Epieph 25 June
Mesore 25 July
5 intercalated days / 6 every four years 24 Aug

 

From:

The Reckoning of Time, By Saint Bede (the Venerable).

Trans. Faith Wallis, 1999,

Liverpool University Press,

viewed from GOOGLE Books (viewed 3.1.14)

p. 45.

 

The Postgrad Chronicles

Medieval History from Alfred the Great to The Battle of Castillon

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