Parentalia Days 2015

Yes, I know, I’m a month late by Roman reckoning, but last year, we decided to follow Anthestêria with Parentalia, so we’re doing the same for the second time around.

The reason for this is because:

  1. It was convenient at that time;
  2. We reckoned Roman festivals by the pre-Julian lunar calendar (with lunar February roughly coinciding with Anthestêriôn), and;
  3. It made a whole lot of sense to have the two festivals flow into each other.

We’re still working on our new calendar, but it made sense to continue the custom just until the final system is decided. In addition, we’re currently on the third week of Lent and the Lesser Mysteries are also coming up. March is feeling especially chthonic this year.

Anthesteria is over. Parentalia has come! Raise your cups to the Di Manes and Di Parentes and Oi Progonoi!

Anthesteria is over. Parentalia has come! Raise your cups to the Dii Manes et Dii Parentes kai oi Progonoi! Sa mga abang ninuno at 祖先, nuestros antepasados y des ancêtres de la famille!

Let us remember those who have gone. Let those bringing blessings, stay and eat. Let those who are unruly, eat and depart. Out ye, Keres! Anthesteria is over! Come hither ye, Oi Progonoi! Share our joy!

Let us remember those who have gone. Let those bringing blessings, stay and eat. Let those who are unruly, eat and depart. Out ye, Keres! Anthesteria is over! Come hither ye, Oi Progonoi! Share our joy!

San Pedro and Hermanubis watch over the panspermia.

San Pedro and Hermanubis watch over the panspermia pottage (offered during the day and to be buried the day after). We who survive, remember and honour those who have gone before us, as Deucalion and his kin once did.

Avalokiteshvara watches over Parentalia pocket money. Burn swiftly for our departed ancestors!

The bodhisattva of compassion watches over ghost money to be burnt during the days of Parentalia. May it reach our departed ancestors swiftly and fill their coffers!

Hail to You, ye beautiful, laughter-loving sons of Zeus, Openers of the door, deathless friends of mortals and once-mortals! Even when the shrines are veiled and the fires burn low, You are with us, standing in between, ye faithful guides and saviours of Men, in darkness and in light! Hail!

Hail to You, ye beautiful, laughter-loving sons of Zeus, Openers of the door, deathless friends of mortals and once-mortals! Even when the shrines are veiled and the fires burn low, You are with us, standing in between, ye faithful guides and saviours of Men, in darkness and in light! Hail!

And so I echo last year’s praises:

“Hail days past! Hail days to come! Hail Winter’s end and Spring’s beginning! And hail the Spirits that stand in between! Hail Hermês! Hail Dionysos! Hail our Blessed Ancestors!”

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To End Feralia, I Give You Salp’uri

Salp’uri is a Korean folk dance that was originally used in Korean shamanism after performing an exorcism. During the exorcism, the shaman removes the “sal,” meaning a curse, evil spell, or negative energy from the person by absorbing it into herself. Therefore, in order to banish the “sal” from her own psyche, she performs the Salp’uri dance. Additionally, it is used to express beauty and sadness in both relationships and separations by bringing peace to the spirits of the dead and leading them to heaven… [See more.]

I don’t think I’ve got any Korean ancestors–none recent or none that I know of–but I pray my ancestors will understand and appreciate this gesture, nonetheless. After all, it’s a beautiful dance perfect for the occasion, and it’s happening tonight in their name, Terpsichorê help me.

Flowers, Dead Things, and Spring

Sometimes, I wonder whether this is a blog or a photo album. Nevertheless, I’m sharing you this year’s Anthestêria through the following pictures:

Burong manggá for Pithoigia.

On the first day of Anthestêria, Pithoigia, I pickled some mangoes. We call them burong manggá around here, and they’re best eaten (IMO, at least) when they’re bordering on alcoholic. The jar, along with the wines, was presented to Dionysos and the Household Gods to kick off the festivities.

Burong manggá, lambanóg, and my mulled wine from Lênaia.

Here, you see my freshly pickled mangoes, a new bottle of lambanóg (“coconut wine”), and old mulled wine from Lênaia. True to my Mestizo heritage, I make it a point to offer produce/products from both sides of the family.

To the God who wears many masks.

After the sacred fires were lit, many songs were sung to the God who wears many masks…

To the Raging Bull.

…to the One who causes flowers to spring from the cold, dark earth.

A generous libation of mixed wine, a gorgeous bouquet of Marsh rosemary, and some upo from our farm.

The altar is graced with a generous libation of mixed wine (in a boat-shaped wooden bowl, no less), a gorgeous bouquet of Marsh rosemary, and upo (or calabash), freshly cut from the vine.

A libation of mixed wine crowns our rice supply for the next few months, blessing it.

Here, the mixed wine crowns our rice supply for the next few months, blessing it.

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On the third day of Anthestêria, Khytroi, the gracious Spirits Below are invited (and sent off) with the rattling jingle of sleigh bells.

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The Immortals and Once-Mortals who keep the Dead in peace watch on…

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In keeping with Asian custom: paper money to burn in sacrifice.

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As I keep one shrine for all the gods of my family, I leave two-thirds of it veiled (the portion for the celestial ones) and the remaining third open (for the ones below).

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Hermês Khthonios as Hermanubis grants our Blessed Dead passage and mediates between us and them.

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After setting aside portions for our family’s ancestors, the rest of the panspermia pottage was left outside to be buried, to feed the All-Dead, not just our blessed and beloved. We who survive, remember and honour those who have gone before us, as Deucalion and his kin once did.

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As we ended Anthestêria with a proper send off for overstaying “visitors” (including the “kindly” Keres and Lemures), we ushered the beginning of Parentalia, informing our Blessed Dead that they are welcome for the next 9 days to share our joys and hopes, and to bless us if they so will. Salvete Dii Parentes!

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Hail to You, ye beautiful, laughter-loving sons of Zeus, Openers of the door, deathless friends of mortals and once-mortals! Even when the shrines are veiled and the fires burn low, You are with us, standing in between, ye faithful guides and saviours of Men, in darkness and in light! Hail!

And that, my friends, is how I spent the first half of February. I hope you had beautiful celebrations yourselves, and I pray for only bigger smiles and better food in the coming festivals. As the old hymn goes:

« καὶ σὺ μὲν οὕτω χαῖρε, πολυστάφυλ᾽ ὦ Διόνυσε:
δὸς δ᾽ ἡμᾶς χαίροντας ἐς ὥρας αὖτις ἱκέσθαι,
ἐκ δ᾽ αὖθ᾽ ὡράων εἰς τοὺς πολλοὺς ἐνιαυτούς. »

“And so hail to you, Dionysos, god of abundant clusters!
Grant that we may come again rejoicing to this season,
and from that season onwards for many a year.”

Hail days past! Hail days to come! Hail Winter’s end and Spring’s beginning! And hail the Spirits that stand in between! Hail Hermês! Hail Dionysos! Hail our Blessed Ancestors!

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PS: In case you missed last year’s, here they are, too.