I am just wondering if all pagans celebrate the Celtic holidays? It seems like I see almost all of my pagan friends (if not all of them) talking about 'Samhain' and yet some consider themselves to be practicing a Native American faith or Buddhist religion or South American religion and so forth; yet everyone seems to be celebrating Celtic festivals, even those of us born in America with no ties (historical, cultural, ancestral or religious) to any Celtic lands. I even see it amongst my friends who have no religious/spiritual affiliations that classify themselves as 'witch' with no religious beliefs whatsoever.
Have these holidays just been absorbed into the umbrella that is 'paganism' and become like generic holidays? This would make sense to me, as this is how humans historically operate, by absorption of customs and cultural beliefs of others and melding it into something of our own.
Do "all" pagans celebrate Celtic holidays?
Of course not. Some do of course.
Usually the polytheists do. That's what's so good about being a polytheist. You can do things like that.
Aurelia, as far as I know, you are the only one that I've met so far that adheres to a Greco-Roman inspired path. Do you have an equivelent to Samhain?
Yes, but not in October/November. Plus, in ancient Roman culture there was a separation of good spirits and bad spirits. The honoring of the dead began with the Lemuria on Feb 9, 11 and 13 which was about warding off evil dead spirits from your household, then it moved to Parentalia a festival honoring your dead parents on Feb 13-21 and ended with a general honoring of all spirits on Feb 21 the Feralia.
The dates are sometimes in May because of people either sticking to the Julian calendar dates or going with the Gregorian.
That is very cool, thanks for sharing this info, I know the Christian Christmas date was probably chosen in conjunction with Saturnalia, but other than the date I don't know how much was shared between the Roman festival and the Christian observance. It's sometimes not easy to separate the cultural stuff from the actual religious stuff.
I read sometimes that the Feralia is what All Soul's Day was based on, but don't know how true that is. Remember, in the most ancient of times - even Rome up to a certain time - the end of the year was near spring (makes sense, right? Beginning of the year starts with spring?), so Samhain/Hallows E'en being near the 'end of the year' in a latter calendar would coincide with another 'end of the year' observance of the dead of a seasonal calendar.
I don't. Never have. I do join friends that do, when invited. But I always invite them to my festivals. Some of them conincide and we have joined the two types of festivals on occassion. Which is great fun.
We have harvest full moon feast. It is held on the full moon of Oct. but it's more of a Thanksgiving kind of thing.
I'm not well versed in what samhain is all about. I know one friend of mine who is wicca and she says it's when what they call the veil is thinnest and they can contact those that have passed and it's suppose to be a good time for diviations and such. I know she sets a place at the table for them and such. When I attend it is only for the party after ritual, they keep a private ritual for that festival.
We also enjoy the festivities of Halloween, the kids love it. But it's not a holy day for us. It's just fun, kind of like christmas is and the american thanksgiving holiday.
Not only the moon, but the sun, equinox's and solstices and of course all the different seasons. As in our new year is in Feb. and not in Oct or is Nov. 1st of the celtic way. I believe that modern pagans have a celabration on the 1st or 2nd of Feb. also. which is our new year.
By the way tribe is right, I am Ojibwa.
I don't. I observe the lunisolar Attic festival calendar. I have a lot of holidays during the year to keep track of.
I dislike when the Wiccan Sabbats are presented in various media as "the pagan holidays". It perpetuates the misunderstanding that "Wiccan" and "pagan" are interchangeable terms.
It's the lunisolar calendar used by the Greek city-state of Attica, which includes cities such as Eleusis and Athens. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attic_calendar
To answer your question to Aurelia, at least regarding Athenian Greeks, there are two festivals of the dead in the Attic calendar. Genesia, which takes place the 5th day of the month of Boedromion, was more of a private household festival honoring deceased ancestors or members of the family.
Anthesteria, which takes place the 11th through 13th days of the month of Anthesterion, was a festival in honor of Dionysos and the opening of the new jars of wine. It was believed that ghosts and spirits of the Underworld would rise and join the revelry, and precautions were taken before the festivities to ensure that homes were protected from these spirits.
The last day of each lunar month was also a time for giving honor to the dead and the Chthonic deities.
I dislike when the Wiccan Sabbats Celtic misappropriated holidays used by wiccans are presented in various media as "the pagan holidays". It perpetuates the misunderstanding that "Wiccan" and "pagan" are interchangeable terms.
There, fixed. other than that i agree.
I'd like to see more variety in what wiccan inspired neo pagan folks call the holidays, the over use of the Gaelic words is responsible for the confusion that wiccan='Celtic'. Of course the wheel is a great model but more people could make an effort to relabel the holidays in ways that reflect their own culture or find out if their culture have an equivalent.
I remember once hearing that not all the holidays in the Wheel of the Year are actually Celtic Holidays. One for example is Yule, is a Norse holiday. I could be wrong though.
It's hard to separate the Celtic and Norse mythologies and worldview, as there was a lot of cross-pollination, so to speak. From what I've gathered, the following generally holds true (though how ancient it is, I'll not speak to):
The Celtic and Germanic wheel of the year closely resemble each other. Although not always carried out on the exact same day(s) their holy days roughly correspond. Here's a quick list:
Germanic -- Celtic
Yuletide -- Yule
Disting -- Imbolc
Ostara/Eostre -- Eostre
Walpurgis -- May day (Walpurgis is usually held on April 30, May Day on May 1)
Midsummer -- Lethe
Thing's-Tide --Lughnasadh (Lammas)
Harvest/Winter Finding -- Mabon
Winter Nights -- Samhain
Jul is a certain time of the year that are called Rough Nights in other parts of Germanic territory, with the difference that the Rough Nights are 12, and Jul is almost all December.
I like the Wikipedia on Danish Jul, because there are pictures as well. LINK