Sunday, October 09, 2005

Ante Diem VI Idus October

Modern Date : October 10th

Ante Diem VI Idus October
Sixth Day to the Ides of October

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

Germanicus died this day in 19 AD at Antioch.

The Greeks celebrated this day as the Thesmophoria, from yesterday until tomorrow.

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).

Draconid Meteor Shower
The Draconid meteor shower peaks tonight. The Draconids, not among the most celebrated meteor showers of the year in any case, will be less easily visible this year, as the waxing Moon interferes.

Jain New Year Festival
In the Jain calendar, this is the week of Oli, the New Year festival, culminating in the Full Moon of Libra month, on 10/17.

Diwali or Deepawali is the most important festival in India. For the Jains, it is the second most after the Paryusana Parva. For Jains Diwali marks the anniversary of Mahavir's moksha. Mahavir attained moksha on the day before today in 527 B.C. (and also of the achievement of total knowledge, omniscience, by his chief follower, Gautama Indrabhuti). The festival falls on the last day of the month of Ashvina, the end of the year as per Indian calendar (in October or November), The celebration starts in the early morning of the previous day, for it was then that Mahavira commenced his last sermon which lasted till late in the night of Diwali. It is narrated that the eighteen kings of northern India who were in his audience decided that the light of their master's knowledge would be kept alive symbolically by lighting of the lamps. Hence it is called Dipawali, (dipa means lamp), or Diwali.

The New Year begins today and is the occasion for joyful gatherings of Jains, with everybody wishing each other a Happy New Year.

The 8th day of the Greek month of Pyanepsion, was called the Feast of Theseus, when a milk porridge called Athara was prepared. In Erkhia, people made offerings to the Amazons on this day.

Theseia was a festival celebrated by the Athenians in honour of their national hero Theseus, whom they believed to have been the author of their democratic form of government. Because of this belief, donations of bread and meat were given to the poor people at the Theseia, which was for them a feast where they might picture themselves equal to the wealthiest citizens. Gellius writes that a contest was also held on this occasion, but he doesn't inform on what it consisted. The day on which this festival was held was the eighth of every month but more especially the eighth of Pyanepsion, because it was believed that Theseus returned from Crete on that day. Comparing Gellius with Diodorus, it appears highly probable that the festival of the Theseia was not instituted till 469 BCE, when Cimon brought the remains of Theseus from Scyros to Athens.

Canadian Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday in October in Canada.