Finally, I get to update you all on the long holiday hiatus. (Photos best viewed full size.)
On the 8th day of Poseideôn, the morning after the winter solstice, I watched the reborn Sun rise from the east, drawn by the mighty steeds of Dawn, His sister. The long wait is over. The promise is renewed. The wheel has turned.
Flames were lit for the newborn Titan. All four Advent candles were lit and set before His cult image, a rebirthday gift, fragrant before His face.
Puto bumbóng and bibingka, local Christmas delicacies, were a staple throughout Advent.
Then, on the 11th of Poseideôn, 5 days after the solstice, Christmas came. Good food was shared with the household Gods in a spirit of abundance.
New flowers adorned the holiday tree, and toasts of wine and hot chocolate as well as berries and cheese were raised in holiday cheer. Nom nom nom!
On the Ides of Poseideôn, the night of the full moon, I went on a pilgrimage to celebrate friendship, adventure, and the Lord of Waters.
On that pine-laden volcanic island, I felt nothing but awe and wonder for the Gods who move and make the world.
It was very ‘spiritual’.
There, I resolved my bitter conflict with the Sea King and feared Him no more.
Leaving was bitter sweet.
But, I took home only the best of memories… of the warm sand and the cool waters, of the smiling reborn sun, of friends and hidden paradises, and horses playing in the waves.
On the 18th of the lunar month, most of the world celebrated its civic New Year, its first of 365 calendric days. Although not my religious New Year, I celebrate it as a part of a long festival of new beginnings starting from the winter solstice leading up to the second new moon after it (or even up to the vernal equinox). I call it the Festival of the Great Yawning, as fireworks light the night sky and sacred noise-making is greatly encouraged. The family shared good food that night.
Hearths were tidied up and fires were re-lit, fed with flour and ghee (clarified butter).
Old wreaths were burnt and new ones were made and hung over the newly tidied threshold.
And food was shared between kinsmen, household gods, and ancestors.
On the 20th of the month, after the long days off of work, we started the Rural Dionysia, celebrating the God of life unstoppable. The fields were blessed with food and the chanting of old hymns.
The grain and the corn were blessed.
The vines and gourds were blessed.
Breads were baked and mulled wine was made.
And, dinner was served for the Mother of grain and the Lord of the vine.
And on the first noumênia (new moon) after the solstice, the house shrine was prepared for the Kalends of January, greeting Janus the Opener of Ways a warm welcome.
As usual, my berries, cheese, and cream were a staple, as well as homemade mulled wine and cranberry bread. I couldn’t get to take a picture of the meats, sorry.
Nom nom nom!
If you think we’re done, think again. Seven days from now, on the second noumênia after the solstice, Springtime is to be ushered in the form of the Chinese New Year (another national holiday, yay!) and my Gallo-Roman “Brigantalia”. Busy days, I must say. Bloody busy days.