Thursday, November 24, 2005

Ante Diem VIII Kalendas December

Modern Date : November 24th

Ante Diem VIII Kalendas December
Eighth Day to the Kalends of December

This is one of the dies comitiales when committees of citizens could vote on political or criminal matters.

November is the ninth month (after March) and is a lucky month which is almost free of religious obligation.

Thanksgiving Day
The American celebration of Thanksgiving evolved from harvest celebrations. It closely resembles Martinmas (November 11 and November 22) and other harvest feasts held closer to the Autumn Equinox (like Michaelmas on September 29).

The first Thanksgiving was religious, a commemoration of the date the first English settlers arrived at the Berkeley plantation in Virginia: Dec 4, 1619. The first Thanksgiving in New England was held earlier in autumn at the more likely time to honor a bountiful harvest.

For a long time, different areas of the country held Thanksgiving feasts on different autumn dates. Then in 1789, Washington named November 25 a day of national thanksgiving honoring the Revolutionary War. In the same year, the Protestant Episcopal Church named the first Thursday in November a yearly day for giving thanks. In 1863 Lincoln declared the last Thursday in November, Thanksgiving.

And finally, following the usual progression of a holiday from its early roots in a seasonal event (the harvest), to its association with political and religious agendas, we reach the culmination of Thanksgiving as a commercial event. In 1939, Roosevelt moved Thanksgiving up a week to extend the Christmas shopping season. By 1941, the Congress declared Thanksgiving a legal federal holiday to be honored each year on the fourth Thursday of November.

The most detailed description of the "First Thanksgiving" comes from Edward Winslow from A Journal of the Pilgrims at Plymouth, in 1621:

"Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors. They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week. At which time, among other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought to the plantation and bestowed upon our governor, and upon the captain, and others. And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty."

Feast of Lights
In the Egyptian calendar, 9th day of the month of Tybi. Day of offerings to Sekhmet, and also of a feast of lights honoring Isis and Osiris.

Tori-No-Ichi is a Japanese festival beginning the New Year's celebrations. Tori no Ichi Fair (open-air market) is a famous annual event in November on the day of the Tori (Rooster) in Chinese calendar and this event has continued to today since the Edo period.

Tori no Ichi is held at Temple of Tori (Juzaisan Chokoku-ji) in Asakusa, Tokyo or various shrines of Washi (Eagle) and many people come to there to pray for a health, good fortune and good business. In the Edo period, Tori no Ichi was the fist fair for welcoming New Year. A poet, KIKAKU who was a pupil of the most famous Japanese poet Mastuo Basho, said for Tori no Ichi "Haruwomatsu Kotonohajimeya Tori no Ichi" (Tori no Ichi is a first important event to bring New Year.).

The day of the Tori (Rooster) comes every 12 days in November and generally, the first day of the Tori is most important. However it is said that a fire is likely to take place in the year that the day of the Tori has 3 times.

The origin of Tori no Ichi Fair was a fair of Hanamatamura located in a suburb of Edo (today it is Otori Shrine located in Adachi-ku, Tokyo). Its original form was a harvest festival by peasants who thank to Hanamata Washidaimyojin. The day of the festival, Ujiko(people under protection of the local deity) dedicated a rooster to Hanamata Washidaimyojin and after the festival they went to the most famous temple "Senso-ji" in Asakusa and released the collected roosters in front of the temple.


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