Monday, September 05, 2005

Nonas September

Modern Date : September 5th

Nonas September
The Nones of September

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

The rex sacrorum would appear on the steps of the Capitol on this day and announce to the people what days of the months would be holidays.

The Ludi Romani, the great games in honor of Jupiter (Jove) began this day and were celebrated through to the 19th. Jupiter is the supreme god of the Roman pantheon, called dies pater, "shining father". He is a god of light and sky, and protector of the state and its laws. He is a son of Saturn and brother of Neptune and Juno (who is also his wife). The Romans worshipped him especially as Jupiter Optimus Maximus (all-good, all-powerful). This name refers not only to his rulership over the universe, but also to his function as the god of the state who distributes laws, controls the realm and makes his will known through oracles. His English name is Jove.

He had a temple on the Capitol, together with Juno and Minerva, but he was the most prominent of this Capitoline triad. His temple was not only the most important sanctuary in Rome; it was also the center of political life. Here official offerings were made, treaties were signed and wars were declared, and the triumphant generals of the Roman army came here to give their thanks.

Other titles of Jupiter include: Caelestis (heavenly), Lucetius (of the light), Totans (thunderer), Fulgurator (of the lightning). As Jupiter Victor he led the Roman army to victory. Jupiter is also the protector of the ancient league of Latin cities. His attribute is the lightning bolt and the eagle is both his symbol and his messenger.

Jupiter is completely identical with the Greek Zeus

September is the 'magical' seventh month (after March).

Ganesha Chaturthi
This great annual festival honors one of the most beloved figures in the Hindu pantheon: Ganesha, elephant- headed god of letters and wisdom, son of Shiva and Parvati, mentor of gods and humans, including the famous warrior Arjuna in The Mahabharata. Over the 11 days of the festival, the devoted ones invoke and acknowledge Ganesha's help as a bringer of insight, provider of inspiration, and dissolver of problems and obstacles. The music and poetry culminate in ritual bathing of the god's image, and a feast of lights which honors Ganesha as an assisting force for studies in illumination and creative work. Clay images of him are carried to rivers, lakes, and the sea and gently drowned. Soil from the water's edge is taken home for prosperity.

Ganesh, the elephant-headed god, is the god of wisdom and success and the remover of all obstacles. In most Hindu homes, a statue of Ganesh over the main door wards off evil. He is propitiated with the words, "I bow to Lord Ganesh," at every new beginning, a marriage, the beginning of a construction project or the starting of a new account book.

On the fourth day of the bright lunar fortnight of Bhadra, people get up early and bathe before preparing for this special day. Statues of Ganesha are purchased in the market and installed in the family shrine, where he is honored with flowers, lighted candles, food including sweet-balls (modokas), prayers and songs.

Artists flock to Maharashtra to make images of Ganesh—some over 30 feet in height. Eighty thousand idols are installed around the city in public spaces, along with 3 million statues in private homes. The culmination of the festival occurs on the tenth day when the idols are taken by rick-shaw, cart, cars and trucks down to the nearest river, lake, pond or well and immersed.

In Nepal people stay inside on the evening before this feast as catching sight of the ill-omened crescent moon would bring disaster. This is considered a good night for thieves.

Nanda Devi
In East India, this is the Day of Nanda Devi. The best known fair of this region, held in the month of September at Almora town, is organized since the Chand kings ruled this place. It is believed that 'Nanda' used to be the family Goddess of Chanda dynasty. The word meaning of the word 'Nanda' is prosperity. The temple of 'Nanda' in Almora was built by Dyot Chanda in seventeenth century, the then ruler of this place. Presently this temple remains the core of the festival. The duration of the festival is five days and approximately twenty five thousand people come to attend this festival.

Raising the Djed Pillar
The 19th day of Paopi is the Ceremony of Raising the Djed Pillar. The Djed is a very ancient Egyptian symbol of stability. It resembles a short pillar with four horizontal, stacked platforms on top. It is a symbolic representation of the Tree that entombed the god Osiris at his death by his brother's hand.

The Djed was central in a festival in his honor called "the Raising of the Djed." The Djed also represented the phallus of the god, and represented the cosmic axis, or Tree of Life. The Djed can also be viewed as a representation of the human spinal cord. The Djed has many simularities with Yggdrasil, the world tree, of the Asatru faith.

Wakes Monday
On the first Monday following the first Sunday (Wakes Sunday) after September 4th, the ancient Horn Dance is performed in Abbots Bromley in Staffordshire, a tradition going back centuries, according to legend back to Norman times. The dance is carried out by six men carrying reindeer horns to tunes performed by a man with a concertina and a boy with a triangle (supposedly once a pipe and tabor). They are accompanied in their rounds by a hobby horse, a Maid Marian (a man dressed in women's clothing who collects donations), a fool, and an archer. On the Revels tape, one can hear a haunting melody associated with the dance, although Gladys Spicer writing about observing it in the 1940's mentions lighter tunes like Yankee Doodle (supposedly once a Cavalier ditty making fun of Olive Cromwell under the name "Nankie Doodle"), John Peel and Capri. The horn dance is attributed to the Celtic God Kernunnos.