Tag Archives: holiday

Today’s Holiday – The Martyrdom of Hypatia

today's holiday hypatia day

Symbolism of Today’s Holiday for Hypatia

Today’s holiday is something to be mightily celebrated. Why? Because this is a day of bowing to the juggernauts in both ancient and modern world.  Specifically, the female juggernauts who moved mountains to change minds and advance the human society.

Which brings me to Hypatia.  She was a Greek writer, philosopher, astrologist, mathematician…you name it…she seemed to have her finger on the page of whatever kind of wisdom required for the time.

In fact, she was the caretaker and curator for the educational institution of Alexandria.  This was a goldmine of knowledge, study and information.  Hypatia was the matron of this place, where she taught students, and preserved precious archives.

There is a sorrow that cloaks this day.  Hypatia was stoned to death around this time in March (estimation March 8-12).  She was accused of political meddling by a bunch of zealots.  It did not help matters that she was smart, savvy and way beyond her years in terms of insight and vision.

Nevertheless, Hypatia’s presence was overwhelmingly revolutionary.  She paved a way for so many students, women and scholars for tons of decades after her passing.

This is a great day to observe the following…

♦Embrace the beauty of a book

♦Recognize teachers and mentors in your life

♦Take a bow to those who have fought for the freedoms we experience today

♦Learn a new skill, consider a new profession, take on a new challenge

♦Dare to challenge the ‘status quo’, upset the apple-cart, and be a shining example of what it means to stand up for your passion.

To be sure, Hypatia was a rebel.  She stood for her beliefs, and she never backed down.  Regrettably, that resulted in her gruesome demise, but she cut a path for so many of us because of her unflinching will.

In a way, Hypatia was a hero.  So today’s holiday in history is a great day to celebrate your bold, brassy women and mentors that have made a difference in your lives.

As always, thanks for reading!

Brightly,

Avia

St. Patrick’s Day Symbols

st patricks day symbols

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day Symbols





It’s been said that on March 17th, St. Patrick’s day, everybody is Irish.  That’s not too far off the mark.  At one point, Irish immigrants outnumbered any other nationality in the US. In fact, the Irish have been so influential in this country, that many Irish customs (and symbols) are embossed upon the American culture.

This Irish holiday is just as impressive with symbolic meaning. Firstly, St. Patrick was a pretty remarkable dude…and he wasn’t Irish either. He was born around Roman Britain, close to Scotland.  In a weird twist of fate, St. Patrick was captured by Irish raiders and made a slave in Ireland.  Ironic, eh? Yeah…the guy who is an Irish icon was kept a slave there from the time he was 16. After about seven years as a slave, St. Paddy was called by God to serve a higher purpose, and he ran away from his dour life of slavery.

He traveled Europe and got the education he lacked as a slave. Then God called St. Pat again, telling him it was time to do great things. So St. Patrick went back to Ireland to share his passion for Christianity. Talk about dynamic forgiveness! This is a guy captured by the Irish, yet he went back there as a missionary to talk about salvation.

St. Patrick didn’t have an easy time of it though.  He made some big social blunders.  On one occasion, Patrick lit a bonfire on what was then one of the most sacred Celtic celebrations (Beltane).

No big deal, right? Well, the high Celtic king, Laoghaire saw Pat’s fire and was enraged. Apparently, it’s not good etiquette to light a bonfire before the king lights his own first. Oopsie.

St. Patrick soothed over the hard feelings about the fire, started to make friends, and successfully shared his views about Christianity.

What I find very cool about St. Patrick is that he took a different tact than many missionaries.  He wasn’t about crushing and converting the people.  He actually meshed the Celtic/pagan beliefs in with the Christian philosophy.  So instead of obliterating Irish ancient beliefs, St. Patrick wove together the old and the new – forming a cohesion.

As he respected the old ways while honoring his own faith – I think St. Paddy would approve of this post on St. Patrick’s Day symbols.  Why? Because symbols, either ancient or new, reflect an era, a culture, a belief, etc. Check out these St. Patrick’s Day symbols…I think you’ll find they make March 17th a little more rich with meaning.



st. patricks day symbols

St. Patrick’s Day Symbols

Shillelagh: Okay, so it’s not the most sophisticated weapon, but certainly effective.  Back in Patrick’s day, there was a lot of warring for territory, and family feuds. The fighting Irish devised these clubs called shillelagh’s from oak trees as weapons. Often, a warrior would double fist their clubs, one club in one hand to deliver the damaging blow, and the other club for staving off attacks. So what makes this one of St. Patrick’s Day symbols? Over time and with the evolution of legend, the clubs turned into staffs or walking sticks.  They were considered to be a mark of wisdom and great power.  Check out any picture of St. Patrick, and you’ll see him with a staff – a mark of his esteemed position in the Irish culture.

Leprechaun: These are the wee ones in Irish lore. They are a group of fairies known as Luchorpan. The whole deal with their association with cobbling shoes points back to their name in Gaelic, which means ‘one shoemaker’.  Now, you’ve got to understand that in ancient cultures around the world, just about everything had a governing spirit (fairy, troll, goddess whatever).  There is a hierarchy of mythic beings who are in charge of certain functions in life. Leprechaun’s, apparently were the Jimmy Choo of shoes back in the day. The leprechaun is included in this list of St. Patrick Day Symbols as a nod of respect to St. Pat for keeping old traditions intact. Rather than eliminating beliefs in magical beings, St. Patrick allowed the people to acknowledge them side-by-side with the new religion.

Harp: Both a national symbol of Ireland, and St. Patrick, the harp won popularity with the Irish long ago.  This instrument was used in festivals, celebrations and just general family gatherings. Its music was said to put evil spirits to sleep, and insure peaceful dreams for children. The harp plays its way into Irish culture because it was custom for great tales and legends to be made into music.  These tales were often sung accompanied by the harp. Seeing as how St. Patrick is a living legend, it makes sense a few harp tunes were played in his honor. As a symbol of cultural heritage, St. Patrick and the harp go hand in hand.

Shamrock: This unlikely little plant set St. Patrick on the map.  It is THE symbol he is most famous for.  Why?  Because St. Pat was a clever guy.  He used the shamrock as a demonstration tool to explain the triple force behind Christianity (Father, Son, Holy Ghost).  Celts were already digging the scene of triple energy (triple gods, and goddesses) when Pat showed up, so a trinity was easy to grasp.  St. Patrick used the shamrock to show how each branch of the Christian faith stood on it’s own power, but all the leaves needed each other to live and grow.  He used the leaves to explain the individuality of each holy entity, while also explaining their dependence upon each sacred power.  Learn more about shamrock symbol meanings here.

In closing, I hope you enjoyed this brief article on St. Patrick’s day symbols and their meanings.  To be sure, there are many more icons associated with St. Patrick, as well as Ireland.  Don’t let your research stop here! Take some time to find out the symbolic meanings associated with this great time of year and the Irish culture.

If nothing else, you can impress your friends at the pub with your knowledge about Irish symbolic history!

As always, thank you for reading. And I hope your St. Patrick’s day (March 17th) turns out to be a frolicking good time.

Brightly,

Avia

If you liked this article, you might also enjoy…

Symbolic Meanings for the Month of March

Symbolic Shamrock Meaning

Symbolism of Celtic Trinity

Good Luck Symbols and Their Meanings

 

 

 

Symbolic Meanings for Today’s Holiday – March 1st

today's holiday goddess
Today’s holiday features the celebration of Roman goddesses Vesta and Juno as well as the celebration of Matronalia.

Symbolic Meanings for Today’s Holiday – March 1st




The first holiday we’ll explore for today comes from Rome. On the calends of March (calends meaning the first day of the month), ancient Romans celebrated various goddesses, and womanhood in general.  The 1st of March is the day Vesta started lighting up the sacred fire in the Temple of Vesta.  This was symbolic of the ‘lighting up’ or the ‘warming up to’ of Spring.  With the rekindling of the Vesta fire, this was also a celebration of the Vestal Virgins. These virgins were the pure priestesses who surrounded the goddess Vesta. She was a Roman goddess who stood for womanhood as well as hearth, home and earth.

Also on this day the ancient Romans celebrated the festival of Matronalia, which was associated with Juno, the goddess of generosity, love, femininity, marriage and childbirth. This festival was a celebration of women, especially wives.  Husbands and children were expected to give gifts to the women in their lives (whether mothers or wives).  Women who had servants were expected to make meals for them, as servants had the day off on Matronalia.

Today's holiday is St. David's day in Wales In Wales, today’s holiday is called St. David’s day. This celebration features leeks and daffodils

Today’s Holiday in Wales is St. David’s Day

The symbolic meanings for today’s holiday varies widely depending on nation and culture of the people celebrating.  In Wales, today’s holiday is called St. David’s Day.  St. David is the patron saint of Wales and he is celebrated today, which was the day of his death in 589 AD.

So what’s the deal with leeks and daffodils?  Well, firstly they are assumed to be symbols of St. David, but I think mostly, these two perky plants are a symbol of the first signs that Spring is coming.

Leeks and daffodils have a peculiar legend in today’s holiday for Wales.  Today also marks the commemoration of the victory over the English.  Local lore has it that St. David advised the Welshmen soldiers to wear leeks and/or daffodils on their hats during battle so they could all recognize their fellow countrymen during battle.  See more about symbolic meaning of daffodils here.

Today's Holiday in Scotland is Whuppity Scoorie Today’s Holiday in Scotland is Whuppity Scoorie

Symbolic Meanings for Today’s Holiday in Scotland

This is one of the more interesting celebrations around the world.  Why? Well, it’s a little mysterious because its origins are unknown.  Plus the festivities are a little unusual.  The name of today’s holiday in Scotland is called ‘Whuppity Scoorie’.  From what I gather in my research, it is essentially a kinda of ‘Yahoo!’ to the dying of Winter and a ‘Yeehaw’ to the oncoming Spring (I’m not sure if the Scots say yahoo or yeehaw, but you get my drift).  As legend goes, around the 19th century the church bells in the small town of Lanark ceased to ring all winter.  But on March 1st the church bells fired up after a long Winter’s spell.  The lovely sound of the bells marked the renewal of the earth and the anticipation of Spring coming.

This doesn’t seem so odd, but what happens next has me a little baffled.  At the first stoke of the church bells’ chime, all the townspeople congregate at the Lanark church.  All the children then run around the church (clockwise) three times while the adults hurl pennies at the racing youngsters.  Still…not too weird.  Where I got a little stymied was when I learned the children made paper balls with a string attached.  The kids would swing the balls over their head while dashing around the church and proceed to bonk their fellow racers on the head.  After the three laps of the race was done, the children would grapple and grab all the pennies the adults had thrown during the race. I suppose if the kids weren’t pummeled by pennies or bludgeoned by swinging balls – they could potentially bring in a small fortune.

The origins of this interesting Scottish ritual on March 1st are unknown.  However, some historical scholars claim the events on this holiday serve a purpose to scare the bejeebers out of the evil spirits, and cast away the winter doldrums.

At any rate, due to the concern for child welfare, today, Whuppity Scoorie is more of a festival of art and storytelling sponsored by the community center in the town of Lanark.


In conclusion, I hope you enjoyed these thoughts on the symbolic meanings for today’s holiday. Furthermore, I hope these holidays inspire you to create your own celebration every March 1st!

If you liked this post, be sure to check out the links below for similar articles:

Symbols for the Month of March

Understanding Symbolic Meanings of Gods and Goddesses

Symbolic Meaning of Transitions of the Seasons

As always, thanks for reading, and I hope you got some insights from this post on symbolic meanings for today’s holiday.

May all your holidays be meaningful!

Brightly,

Avia

Symbolic Meaning of Today’s Holiday – February 28th

today's holiday in Finland
The blacksmith, Ilmarinen, is celebrated on this day in Finland.

Today’s Holiday: Symbolic Meanings From Different Cultures

The first holiday on February 28th we'll celebrate is from Finland.  Today is Kalevala Day.  It's a holiday that celebrates the blacksmith Ilmarinen and the Finnish warrior Lemminkainen.  The holiday was established by doctor Elias Lonnrot in 1835.  Dr. Lonnrot wanted to reestablish Finland as the 'land of warriors'.  So he did a lot of research and his results lead him to the conclusion that this was the day of Finland's creation. This is also the day that Ilmarinen and Lemminkainen got together to forge the 'lids of heaven' which insured the earth would not float out into the vast abyss of sky, but be anchored in place so the people of Finland could continue to live on their lovely lands. On this day, the Finns celebrate their heroes and warriors with great feasts and festive parades.

today's holiday Chaldean Today's Holiday Features Chaldean Sabbath. Shown here is the Demiurge, the male oracle of intellect and creation of the ancient Chaldean people.

 Today's Holiday: The Chaldean Day of Rest on February 28th

The ancient Chaldean's existed around 800 BC, and were a sect of Babylonia. Eventually the Babylonians absorbed the Chaldean's and morphed their ways of life.  But in their prime the Chaldean's held to a strong Gnostic belief system.  Gnostic is simply a fancy word for 'having knowledge'.  On this day, the Chaldean's would turn to their Gnostic texts and ponder higher knowledge.  They celebrated the Sabbath (day of rest) every seven days, but this day called for a deeper, more ascetic practice of worship and contemplation.  Yes, it was a day of rest, but it was also a day of silence and intense meditation upon Chaldean oracles.  These oracles included prime male and female deities.  On the February 28th Sabbath, these mother/father oracles were highly focused upon in an effort to acknowledge and silently celebrate the creation of their people.

Today's holiday for the Cherokee people Today's holiday and celebration for the Cherokee Nation

Today's Holiday, February 28th For the Cherokee Tribe

The Cherokee Nation, also known as United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee spans across the south and southeastern regions of North America.

Not all, but most Cherokee had daily ceremonies and devotionals. These observations were intended to reinforce the idea of the dawn of a new day and renewal.

Today, February 28th, the Cherokee paid homage to all that is beautiful.  They made extra effort to rejoice the presence of spirit living in all things.  Each moment was a meditative focus upon listening within, as well as listening to the call of spirit.  Today was a day the Cherokee eliminated sorrow and imbued their souls with joy.  This was a day to turn away from the dark, and face the hope and bliss of the light.  It was also a day to ignore all kinds of judgement (whether from others or from oneself) and embrace the unique beauty within every soul.

I hope you enjoyed this post on the symbolic meaning of today's holiday - February 28th. I'm starting to post these daily celebrations because learning how other cultures around the world acknowledged every day offers great insight into living a symbolic life.

As always, thanks for reading!

May every day be a meaningful holiday for you.

Brightly,

Avia

Related Posts on Symbolic Meanings of Days:

Astrological Meaning of Days

Symbolic Meaning and Observances for February

Native American Moon Sign Meaning for February