Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Ante Diem V Idus November

Modern Date : November 9th

Ante Diem V Idus November
Fifth Day to the Ides of November

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.

Pushkar Fair
Every year, a small town called Pushkar (13 km from Ajmer) comes alive in the joyous festivities, cultural extravaganza and the cattle marketing of the famous Pushkar Fair. This fair is one of the major cultural reflectors of the state of Rajasthan and people from different parts of India gather on the fair ground to participate in the various entertaining events there. Pushkar pulsates with vibrant energy and activity during the fair held on the Kartik Purnima (full moon day) which falls on the month of October or November and usually continues for about five days. This year it starts today.

The Pushkar Lake is considered to be one of the holiest pilgrimage sites in India, the only one in the country associated with Lord Brahma. The place simply teems with the devotees and the holy men or sages in various garbs who come to the temple (Jagat Pita Shri Brahma Mandir) to pray and take a holy dip in the sacred waters of the Pushkar Lake. Apart from the religious rituals and festivities, people participate in a number of cultural and sporting events. The variety of folk dances and songs lend vivid splashes of colour and music to the atmosphere that is already charged with excitement of the camel races and the cattle fair. The bargaining process, which involves a great deal of haggling between the camel traders and the buyers, add to the spirit of the fair.

St. Theodore Tyro
In the Roman Catholic calendar, feast of St. Theodore Tyro, hero of one of the most celebrated martyrdom stories from the persecutions of Diocletian in the early 4th century. Theodore, a Christian officer in the Roman army decades before it was healthy to be one, used the leniency of his commander -- who gave Theodore several chances to renounce his faith -- as the vehicle for glowing speeches that inspired new martyrs in the decades before Constantine the Great made Christianity the state religion of the empire (336). It was reported that when Theodore was finally burned, his soul shot up into the sky in a flash of white light.

Schicksalstag (literally day of fate) is a label often used for 9 November due to the special importance of this day in German history. The term was occasionally used by historians and journalists since shortly after World War II, but its current widespread use started with the events of 1989 when virtually all German media picked up the term.

There are five events in German history that are connected to Schicksalstag:

1848: After being arrested in the Vienna revolts, liberal leader Robert Blum is executed. The execution is often seen as a symbolic event for the ultimate failure of Germany's 1848 revolution.
1918: Monarchy in Germany ends when Emperor Wilhelm II is dethroned in the November Revolution.
1923: The Beer Hall Putsch marks the emergence of the Nazi Party as an important player on Germany's political landscape.
1938: In the Kristallnacht, synagogues and Jewish property are burnt and destroyed on a large scale. For many observers, it is the first hint of Germany's radical anti-Jewish policies.
1989: The fall of the Berlin Wall ends German separation and starts a series of events that ultimately lead to German reunification.

Ante Diem VI Idus November

Modern Date : November 8th

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

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

The Mania
On this day, sometimes referred to as the Mania, the rite of mundus was performed for the final time of the year. In this ceremony an effigy representing the sky was placed upside down in a pit and and covered with a large stone called the lapis manalis. Three times a year, including today, the stone was removed to alow the spirits of the underworld access to the upper regions of the earth.

This day is sacred to Ops, or Cybele or Rhea to the Greeks. Ops was the mother of Ceres and Zeus by Cronus (Saturn). Ops was considered a successor to Gaea (Gaia) as the mother earth goddess. She was deeply revered at Rome as the unceasing producer of all plant life and fertility. She had an affair with a youth named Attis who proved unfaithful and provoked her violent anger. His subsequent suicide left her in mourning. In commemoration of this event her priests and priestesses, called the Corybantes, held an annual orgy involving violent (i.e. S&M) activities.

The emperor Nerva was born Marcus Cocceius Nerva this day at Narnia in 35 AD.

On this day in 392 AD, the emperor Theodosius banned all pagan worship in the empire and put an end to the Olympic games. This state-sponsored intolerance of the Religion of Nature gave the Christians tacit approval to confiscate properties, destroy relics, and publicly attack and murder believers. It still took many centuries of Christian persecution before exctinction was achieved. They turned on the Jews also, but with imperfect success, and then they turned on each other, being heretics all. The surviving heresy in the West became known as Roman Catholicism.

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

Opening of the Tor
Gwynn ap Nudd, lord of the faerie kingdom and the underworld, allowed access to his kingdom today through his holy mountain, Glastonbury Tor. This tradition is closely related to the Roman Mania festival.

Gwynn ap Nudd is the mythical king of Annfwn. Gwynn was the son of Nudd; therefore he was called Gwynn ap Nudd. His father was sometimes called Nudd Llaw Ereint or Nudd the Silver Hand, and identified with the Danann king Nuada Airgetlam. Gwynn's brother was named Edern.

Gwynn was best known in the tale of Culhwch and Olwen, where he was a rival of Gwythyr fab Greidawl, for the love of Creiddylad. Apparently, Creiddylad was married (or betrothed) to Gwythyr, but Gwynn abducted Creiddylad. Gwythyr pursued, and the two armies fought. Apparently, Gwynn was gaining the upper hand in the war, killing several of Gwythyr's kinsmen and allies.King Arthur needed Gwynn to aid him in the hunt of wild boar, Twrch Trwyth, so he forced a truce between Gwynn and Gwythyr that they would not fight one another in a duel on May Day, each year, until the end of time (or till Judgment Day), while Creiddylad returned to her father to await for the outcome of the duel.

Gwynn and Gwythyr not only took part in the hunt for Twrch Trwyth, they also advised Arthur to send someone else to fight against the Black Hag in the land of Valley of Distressed. The Black Hag easily defeated warriors that Arthur sent, so in the end the king fought and killed her.

In the Black Book of Carmarthen, there is a short dialogue between Gwynn and Gwydneu Garanhir. Gwynn has been to Caer Vandwy, a place mentioned in The Spoils of Annwfn. Either Gwynn or Gwydneu witnessed the death of Gwendoleu son of Ceidaw, Bran (son of Gweryd?), Llachau son of Arthur, and Meurig son of Carreian, Gwallawg, and the soldiers of Prydain.

Fuigo Matsuri
The Japanese Fuigo Matsuri (the Feast of Bellows) is held in honor of the Goddess of the Kitchen stove, Hettsui no Kami. Fires are lit also in honor of Inari and other deities in the courts of Shinto temples.

St. Michael and All Angels
This Orthodox holiday honors Michael and Gabriel in particular, as angels of death. In Thrace, on the eve of the holiday, people hid their shoes in hopes that Michael would overlook their existence. According to an Albanian story, Michael once gave in to the pleas of a family and did not carry off the soul he had been sent to fetch. God deafened him with a thunderbolt so he would never be swayed by prayers again.

In Ethiopia, people travel to churches that bear St. Michael's name, where the Michael tabot (holy ark) is carried out of the church in a ceremony which includes chanting and dancing. People also bathe in hot springs and drink holy water that has been blessed in Michael's name. The Coptic church of Ethiopia maintains the the Michael tabot is the original Ark of the Covenant given to the Queen of Sheba by King Solomon.