Thursday, January 10, 2013

Twelfth Night

Many, many traditions cluster around the time of winter solstice. Perhaps as a final wrap-up, our spiritual forebears enjoyed twelfth night, as a summation and a farewell to the indoor festivities occasioned by cold weather and short daylight hours.
As with so many other pre-Christian pactices, the Christian church stole the celebrations held on the twelfth night after solstice, and turned them into something it called "the Epiphany". The first confusion that arises stems from the awkward fact that twelfth night is supposed to occur on the evening of January 5, ahead of the twelfth day which fell on January 6 because days officially began at sunset in those times.
Of course, as with many stolen festivals, this one predates Christianity by thousands of years. It stems originally from an adjustment of the Egyptian calendar, as noted in the Rhind mathematical Papyrus:

The world is out of joint. The gods have given us five extra days, and they should be used
for rest and revelry.

In many parts of old Europe this prompted a Saturnalia-type holiday with a Lord of Misrule, when aristocrats served the servants; where possible, all normal pursuits were reversed or let slide. The Christmas decorations were always taken down by the Lord and the Lady of Misrule, and any food in them was eaten at the twelfth night feast. This would normally include such things as nuts, apples, and dried fruits. In many places circular (ring-shaped) cakes were baked. In Spain, for example, such a cake was called the "king's ring" to signify the turning of the wheel of the year. Or for all we know, maybe it was properly "kings' ring" as in three kings. The cake would contain a dried bean and a pea. The persons who got these pieces would be designated King and Queen for the following year.
Shakespeare's play "Twelfth Night", written to be performed on twelfth night (surprise), has a special flavor of the fun and games and misrule that were common practice in his day.

What happened?

How come we no longer have revels and enjoyment of this sort? Even the pagan groups don't seem to trouble themselves with innocent revelry of this sort. We Frosts think this is a very sad commentary on today's materialistic, shallow world with its disregard for traditions.


thirdeyespinning said...

Well Godpap I dont mean to disagree with you and I could be wrong,strong possibility,but if I take the Solstice date of 21st and add 12 days I comeup with on or before Jan 2th and I believe you said the 5th traditionally. Nonetheless I think the gist of what you are saying is quite clear that the old traditions should be revered not lost.I Scotti Hubbs writer of "The Early Years" the first woman presidents college experience has a new laptop that is mobile and will be back soon. Im still in Wilmington lil chilly but lovin it just the same.

thirdeyespinning said...

Cheron Castenada in honor of Carlos Castenada A metaphysical anthropologist who wrote several books about a indian sorceror named Don Juan. Actually Castenadas books were pretty much the first of this genre I read. My Frost friends I hunted down like some kinda wild indian scout lol was in 88. True story I still have the protective Seal Of Soloman from 88 The Frosts sent. OK Cheron Castenada is a very friendly native american shaman who owns a petting zoo on the outskirts of the city Ana lives in. Ana is taking to this school often while she is young(I hope Holly(wink)wood likes this character. I will be back with more later copyright@1/11/12 "The Early Years" the first woman presidents college experience

thirdeyespinning said...

Greetings to the Frosts I love ya aslong as the day is long.Let me not be a scattered brained whack job and continue with my writing of "The Early Years" the first women presidents college experience.Ok True Story. My ex Svetlana is flying into Wilmy on the family Cessna because she is concerned about my welfare(which really means her grandfather yelled at her for being such a b$$$$ to me and shes playing makeup)She wants to sit down and have a serious discussion with me about this movie venture to make sure my ideas are within reason.(which really means she doesnt want me to talk her grandfather into sinking millions of family money into a movie while I sit on my ass and play Stephen f$$$$$$ Spielberg)Svetlana says she isnt angry with me for not being with her in Moscow for New Years and she understands(which really means is she misses me and wants to get some freaky redneck monkey sex as soon as possible)Lana says she wants to talk with me also to bring my back down to earth and come back to New York and work again in the families finance company.(which really means she wants her redneck boy toy back under her thumb for kinky break sex and borsht for lunch).My replie at this time would be I luv ya comrade but I have a movie to make come rain of shine, so let me roll