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Vyctoria Silvercloud
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PostSubject: Continental Celtic Calendar   Thu Jan 07, 2010 3:15 pm



Probably, one of the oldest Celtic solar/lunar ritual calendars is the Coligny Calendar. It dates from 1st century BC, when the Roman Empire domain upon Gaul. It relays upon the Moon phases. It comprises a 12 month cycle and every 2 ½ years adds an extra month to keep the sync. The year is divided into a dark half and a light half. And it always starts at the dark half with the coming of darkness, at Samhain, the first of November. The light half of the year starts at Bealtaine, the first of May.

In one of its forms, it can observe four Gaelic festivals, Samhain, Imbolc, Beltane and Lughnassadh.

Samhain: Held between Oct 31st and Nov 1st. Marks the end of harvest and the ending of the light half and beginning of the dark half of the year. It is believed to be the beginning of the year and has many elements of a festival of the dead. It was believed that the border between this word and the otherworld became thin in Samhain and the dead could reach back into the world of the living.

Imbolc: Celebrated in Feb, 2nd and falls between the winter solstice and spring equinox. Dedicated to Brigid, Goddess of poetry, healing and smithcraft. It is a festival of fire and purification.

Beltane:It Is a festival held in the first day of May, between the spring equinox and summer solstice. It marks the beginning of the pastoral summer season as the herds of livestock were driven out to the summer mountain pastures. Great bonfires would mark a time of purification and transition and the two fires were lighten as cattle and people would pass between them to purify themselves.

Lughnassadh: It is held in August and marks the beginning of the harvest season, usually a time for community gatherings, horse races, and reunions with distant parents and friends. It was also a time for handfastings – trial marriages that last a year and one day, with the option of ending the contract or formalizing it in a permanent marriage. The God Lugh is honored at this time.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celtic_calendar

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