Friday, October 07, 2005

Ante Diem VIII Idus October

Modern Date : October 8th

Ante Diem VIII Idus October
Eighth Day to the Ides of October

This is one of the dies fasti on which legal actions are permitted.

On this day, the eighth day of the Greek month Pyanepsion, the Athenians celebrated the return of King Theseus after his defeat of King Minos of Crete, who up until then had enjoyed naval supremacy in the Mediterranean. Upon reaching shore, the hungry Athenians immediately boiled beans and ate all their remaining rations, it having apparently been a long voyage back. The Athenians did likewise on this day, singing a thanksgiving for the end of hunger. An olive branch, wreathed in white wool and hung with fruits, is carried in procession by two young men representing the disguised hostages. Being harvest time, this festival merged with the Festival of Grape Boughs, and thanks are given both to Dionysius, the god of wine, and to Athene, who guided Theseus to victory over Crete. Fourteen mothers join the procession, representing the fourteen hostages who were rescued when Theseus slew the king, the so-called "Bull of Minos."

October was the eighth month of the old Roman calendar and was sacred to the goddess Astraea, daughter of Zeus and Themis. The name October comes from Octo, meaning eight (March used to be the first month).

Mercury enters Scorpio
Mercury enters Scorpio, not exactly an unfavorable placement, but not so easy either, as Mercury's communicativeness can't operate at its freest comfort amid the secrecy of the Scorpion. Until 10/30.

Festival of High Places
Chung Yeung, the Festival of High Places, is a Chinese holiday honoring the legendary scholar, Huan Ching. Living in the village of Joo-an more than 2000 years ago, he was warned by a sage to take his family into the high hills to save them from a disaster that awaited everyone in the village below. After warning everyone, he took his family away and later returned to find every living thing in the village dead. The day is celebrated by hiking and kite flying which is thought to carry away impending evils. Kites often are flown in the form of bats, fish, and butterflies, creatures of good omen.

Also known as Autumn Remembrance, this festival is similar to Ching Ming in the spring, in that families journey to the graves of their ancestors to perform cleansing rites and pay their respects. They share the food they bring along, especially Chinese cakes, ko, which is a homonym of the word for "top". Some believe that those who eat these cakes will be promoted to the top.

San Ernesto Guevara
The Bolivian peasants of La Higuera, uninterested in the political messages preached by the revolutionary Ernesto (better known as Che) Guevara, turned him over to the Bolivian army in 1966. But nowadays they honor him on this day as San Ernesto and, generously, he never fails to answer their prayers for rain.


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