Tag Archives: seasons

Meaning of Today’s Holiday – April 2nd

Today's holiday pagan
Today’s Holiday (April 2nd) is the “Carrying Away of Death” – a Pagan celebration

Today’s Holiday Meaning – April 2nd “Carrying Away of Death”




I adore this holiday.  It’s all about celebrating life, renewal and rebirth.  This is an ancient German celebration practiced by the Pagans. Now please don’t let the term ‘Pagan’ freak you out.  That word has been so maligned by media and religious zealots; the meaning has spun into a dark place.  What is the true meaning of Pagan?  It means ‘country folk.‘  That’s it.  Not as scary as some might have you believe.

But I digress.  Today’s holiday meaning celebrates the return of warmth, and the abatement of the cold.  The celebration is called “Carrying Away of Death.”  For Pagans, winter was symbolic of a time of darkness, and the return of spring meant the return of life from the grips of death.

The ritual of celebrating the Carrying Away of Death is symbolic and elegant.  The Pagans made little dolls made of straw.  These are symbolic of death and winter.  These little figurines also represented the challenges faced over the harsh months of intense cold.

After the straw figures were made, a tremendous bonfire was lit.  The bigger the fire the better!  Once the fire got stoked to a ferocious peak, the Pagans tossed their little straw effigies into the fire. It’s important to note, fire is symbolic of transformation, energy and inspiration. Tossing the dolls into the fire, it was believed, transformed energy from dark to light.

Essentially, this act abolished all the experiences, energies and spirits that plagued the people through the winter.  It was a symbolic act of saying goodbye to death and welcoming the return of life.  This ritual was a physical demonstration of annihilating unwanted evil and tribulation.  It was also a ritual of welcoming life, hope and the promise of warmer, better days to come.




Today's Holiday International Children's Book Day
Today’s Holiday (April 2nd) is International Children’s Book Day

Today’s Holiday Meaning – April 2nd “International Children’s Book Day”

Today’s holiday meaning advocates children reading books. It is also the birthday of Hans Christian Andersen.  He is most remembered by his enchanting fairy tales beloved by children all over the world.

This holiday was founded by The International Board on Books for Young People. Various countries celebrate  this day in different ways. In Greece, a common tradition is for children to draw pictures of characters from their favorite books.  In Denmark, there is a festival Hans Christian Andersen’s hometown.  There, his books are celebrated, and read aloud to children.  In parts of America, awards are given to children who have read the most books.  Awards are also given to notable authors of children’s books on this day.


In closing, I hope you enjoyed this article on today’s holiday meaning (April 2nd).  These two holiday’s are not the only ones occurring on this day – so do some research and see if you can find a perfect symbolic holiday that suits you!

The take-away point to this post, I think, is this:  This is a day to celebrate potential.  It is a day to embrace imagination.  This day resonates with the promise of hope and new adventure.  Why?  Because between the Pagan Carrying Away of Death, and the recognition of igniting children’s imagination with books – we have a strong combo for awesome, limitless possibilities!

As always, thank you for reading.  If you liked this post, feel free to check out these related posts:

Symbolic Meaning of Seasons

Symbolic Meaning of Days

Symbolic Meaning of Fire

 

Heralding Spring in Vera’s Garden

Friend, mentor, teacher, compatriot.  I’m talking about Vera, a fellow “walker-in-the-woods” of life’s winding and wonderous paths.  I adore her perspective, and her writing.  You’ll see why in her guest post below.  Please warmly welcome Vera as she takes us on a journey through her garden gates, where wild things romp and wisdom hangs its hat on every blade of grass.

Vera's Garden

Vera is my chosen name, belonging to my grandmother, who lamented never having someone named for her. To remedy, I call myself after her…. besides we look so much alike! Imagine Hobbit hill woman, hands on hips, elbows out, hen-like, poking and scratching the ground, yep that’s me, with the pointy gnome hat, magical shoes with shiny buckles cobbled by industrious elves.

I’ve been invited  to guest blog ….. so here goes……

Morning’s these days are a riot of noise, coming from the bush outside my bedroom window. In gladness, birds sing up the sun and call forth the newly greening of the ground. Spring’s herald in my neck of the woods wears a robin’s red breast, the yellows and purples of April’s harlequin fool…(violets, crocus and daffodils are first to leave the gate) and the starry undeniable presence of the Orion over head in the early evening sky.

I’ve been blessed with my own little patch of earth to steward, and once again, it’s time to take stock of all the merry volunteers making their thrust toward the light. This is also the time to survey what was lost, as sometimes even with best efforts, some thing’s just don’t take. (oh no! Not the new roses….. Good thing the nursery has a one year guarantee!)

Tedious chores like tossing gravel back into the driveway that was shoveled into all manner of nooks and crannies of the yard and lawn from last winter’s snow management, or gently removing the odd chaff collected here and there demand attention. What shall I do with the tree limb that fell during a particularly vigorous wind?  Cut, stack and burn in some sacred fire when ready of course!

I’m struck by how many different shades of green there are. Dusty sage, kelley, chartreuse, teal and all manner of the afore mentioned variegation to name a few. I’m blown away by what’s already a foot high, tulip…dock…crown imperial. It’s like welcoming back old friends, and I’m so glad to reacquaint!

Tiny splashes of green do this magical Monet-like spotty appearance as seeds fulfill their promise, that take on familiar patterns and shapes, most are welcome, some not so much (may all your weeds be wildflowers!).

Where I’m from, most trees are still in stasis now, with the exception of the globe willows that now sport the faint blush of leafing out. That welcome green of living color grows stronger every day.

Sunlight feels different now, sweetly stronger, warming like a lover’s kiss as it teases in playful hide and seek behind clouds pushed about by winds that still have a bite.

I have an endearing nickname for pansies. I call them “smiling faces.”  They cheer even as they shiver in the breeze. This year I chose a wine-berry mix for the box by my door and yellows and red for the bowl by the street.

Heck, all blooms and blossoms to me have that effect…their beauty is their smile. Can you tell yet that out-of-doors is my element? That my personal hero was Tasha Tudor? That I’m partial to “flowery” language with a hint of tongue in cheek?

My prized possessions are perennial in nature like peaches, strawberries and apples, and the smell of roses or shade from my favorite tree on a hot day.  My constant companions are chickens and a couple dogs.

My heart’s desire are for wild things to drop by for a visit, like quail, cock-pheasant, martin and wren. Owls and hawks are welcome too, only if they behave themselves with peaceful intentions.

In closing, I am so pleased to meet you all through words. To those who may have been sent into a diabetic coma, I beg your pardon. I’m new at this. :)

Welcome to my garden, and kindly tread softly, living things grow below.

Light Junkies

No squinting.
No pinching back the light.

Only compulsion and
slack-bodied surrender.

Flame-singed wingtips
Corpuscles popping at hints of heat.

I know why.

Gossamer gold glimmers in luminous Light
We grope for it too with dumb fingertips.

Light sought by Moth methods,
pitching forward into the bones of Bridgette’s flames.

Propelled, following the language of fire tongues
and swallowed whole by Beltane’s bright folly.

Symbolic Meaning of Moths