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Religion and Holidays, were Socialism (WAS: Re: Why Can't We Just Not Talk Politics?

From:Costentin Cornomorus <elemtilas@...>
Date:Tuesday, December 23, 2003, 1:49
--- "Mark J. Reed" <markjreed@...> wrote:

> what holidays do your various concultures > celebrate, and how?
Well, the Telerani are in the middle of the Metranes, which marks the virgin birth of Metras in a cave. Some also mark the virgin birth of Yeshue in a cave... Metras is one of the Aças, or saints, who leads people towards enlightenment. The cycle of his deeds is read out or enacted; and legend has it that on the twelfth night, a taurobolion is still made in the undertemple at Illenere. Yeshue is one of the Maxa Mamstayyas (Great Sages) and others read out or enact the journey of Maryyam and the Astrologers; and there is a full liturgy to follow, including the lawwat (lavabo, or washing) and wacariças (cibodabo, or meal). Anyway, the Bishop's Dance Thursday is this week: "At the December Quarter (the fourth quarter), the theme of the Dance is purely social and one of celebration in mid-winter. At Sunset, the people gather in the yard before the temple and the band strikes up a raucous processional. The bishop, accompanied by all the priests and accolytes (all dressed in red) dance out into the yard. Rather than the usual staff of office, the bishop carries a wand of pine with the leaves still on (never fir or holly). Once out in the yard, the priests and accolytes form two dancing rings around the bishop. When their dance is done, the music quickens and the priests dance off to be replaced by all the young boys and girls of the locality. They wear white with colourfully embroidered collars and cuffs. The twelve tallest girls each bear a green painted torch (or candle if inside); the twelve tallest boys each bear a red torch. Amongst all of them, they carry a long streamer of woven pine boughs, interspersed with holly, and they all wear wreathes of pine on their heads. Once they’ve danced around the bishop, the music changes again and everyone joins in. All along there is singing (sometimes more bawdy than others), and there is mead and beer for refreshment. When everyone’s tired out from dancing, they retire to the prepared feast. This feast is often of the Twelve-Night feasts (on one of the twelve nights before Metranes); and the food is rich and plentiful. The dishes often tend to the exotic, making use of animal parts or delicacies not usually seen in the diet. Some common dishes are Apple Stuffed Cow Stomach, Knuckle and Knee Stew, Queen-o-Hearts (dumpling stuffed cow heart), Pork Testicle Surprise. Normal foods like pies and pasties are found in abundance as well. At this feast, the bishop ladles out cider for everyone." In Auntimoanye, they will be celebrating Yule (not a religious holy day anymore), which is a time for families to come together and eat themselves silly on pork and fish and all sorts of pies and cakes and make toasts to the Lord and Lady of the Sea and light bonfires all over town to call the Sun back from her holidays in the South so the fleets can go out again. On the twelfthnight, the Nine Yolamen, winter pixies basically, riding sledges drawn by hillcats will sweep down out of the mountains and deliver presents of toys or sweets to good children. Naughty children, or children who didn't make or receive new mittens on one of the twelve nights, are snatched away by the hillcats and savagely rent to tiny bits out in the mountains. They say that one can sometimes hear gleeful yowling and terrified screeching on twelfthnight... There are Kristians in Auntimoanye as well, and they will hold nativity pagents (commemorating the virgin birth of the Lord Krist in a cave) before the midnight liturgy (no lavabo); and afterward they will go home and eat themselves silly and make toasts to Our Lady of the Waves and participate in the bonfires set up all around town. They too give gifts to each other, hanging stockings upon hooks by the window. You have to leave the window open a crack on twelfthnight, lest the Yolamen become cross and break through the window in order to get the presents in. The Daine of the town follow neither way, and tend to keep quiet at this time. In Westmarche, the Daine will be celebrating Yule as well, by sitting around the fire and telling stories and singing long into the night. Feasting will revolve around apple stuffed boar and lamb kebobs and honey glazed baked apples and all sorts of similar goodies. The Daine have no idea why Men celebrate Yule, but they do like to feast and give each other presents; so it is natural that special gifts are given at this time. They also get out into the village green and drink large quantities of mash and dance in a big circle or snaky queues around the central firepits. The Daine of the Holy Hills have no truck with Mannish nonsense and stick to traditional Daine wintertime entertainments of storytelling and song without all the dancing outside in the cold. Not sure about Husyck and Heckla (to the west of Teleran); but I know that apples figure prominently in their festivities. Possibly even jack-in-the-poke, which as everyone knows is made from apples.
> This is a topic I'm trying to devote some > attention to, especially > the religious aspects, since the culture I'm > dealing with was > separated from the rest of the planet long > before any of the current > major religions existed
That's a long time. How were they separated?
> (I know, religion is just as taboo as > politics, but this is speculation, not > proselytizing.)
There is a difference! "Real" religions might best be left for elsewhere; constructed religions and especially as they pertain to conlanging is fair game here.
> It's hard to imagine what sort of path the > older religions might have taken if left to > grow across a planet without > those major influences.
Could look at Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism and how they grew and spread. Very little Christian influence there.
> Would some other monotheistic, prophet-centric > religion have cropped up, human nature being > what it is?
Who 's to say? It is curious to note that all of our big religions that fit your bill cropped up in the Middle East: Aten in Egypt; Yahweh amongst the Israelites; Ahura Mazda in Persia.
> Is there a natural > point of cultural development at which > something of the sort is practically > inevitable?
An interesting question. Such religions did not occur in the West - Rome was fond of Mystery religions and Mithraism; nor in the East.
> Or would we have a planetful of > people still following the > nature-religions; global not-so-neo Paganism?
Could be. Ecumenism between Asatru, Mithraists and devotees of Isis could be interesting! If you can get some prophet type to convince people of the Truth of his vision (i.e., figures like Akenaten, Moses, Mohammed, Smith) then who knows how rapidly such a religion could develop and spread! It really would be interesting to note what was particular to the Middle East that such religions cropped up in the first place. Padraic. ===== la cieurgeourea provoer mal trasfu ast meiyoer ke 'l andrext ben trasfu. -- Ill Bethisad -- <> Come visit The World! -- <> .


Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>