Holiday Celebration vs Commercialism vs Christian Popularity
Every week I tend to meet up with a small group of Pagans. These Pagans range in age, gender, career, experience, and paths within Paganism.
Tonight we we discussing the different Pagan holidays. I found it particularly interesting to ask each person:
What do you do to celebrate this holiday?
What do you associate with this holiday?
If you don’t celebrate this holiday why not?
As we (the whole group) went holiday by holiday I found it interesting that a large majority of people (myself included at times) celebrated a few “main” holidays.
Those holidays were:
I started to draw some interesting lines between things. All of these holidays fall in/around/near a Christian holiday OR a commercial holiday.
Beltane. Memorial Day. May Day (in some places)
Samhain. Halloween (widely accepted holiday even with Christians)
I asked the question:
Do you think perhaps we celebrate (we meaning the individuals in the group) simply because of familiarity with the Christian counter-part holiday?
Do you think we concentrate on these holidays because of the commercial appeal and overall ‘acceptance’ during this holiday?
Another point was raised that there are basically 4 celestial holidays. These holidays are based on a solstice or equinox. The other holidays are harvest holidays. These are based on harvest times of different crops.
One group member brought up the point that since we are no longer farmers/gatherers we don’t have the same connection with the land as we once did. Now that we’ve got supermarkets and can get any variety of fruit and vegetables all year round we have little working knowledge of harvest type holidays.
Is this a good or a bad thing? To bring proper balance should we observe each holiday’s counterpart?
These are all just thoughts/ideas I’m sharing. Feel free to chime in!
The answers were really interesting. I’ve been Pagan for the better part of 15 years. Perhaps even a few more, but I only consider myself a 15 year practitioner because I was still really super clueless during those first few years. During all my time as a Pagan I have also chosen some holidays which are ‘high’ holidays and some which aren’t.
After hearing everyone else’s feedback I then started to analyze my own observance of the holidays.
Did I not celebrate the others simply because of no personal connection – or – was I not celebrating simply because it was too much work?
I now bring the question here, to those who read this.
Are there holidays you don’t celebrate? Do you abstain simply because you don’t feel a connection to that holiday or is there another reason?
Ostara is also known as the Vernal Equinox. For a couple days daylight and darkness are even. The Earth is in balance as the Maiden reaches full fertility. She is receptive. Now is the time to plant things with fertility at its peak and conditions lending themselves to growing crops.
Popular trends during Ostara are pastel colors, eggs, and rabbits. Things you can incorporate during your Ostara ritual:
- Leafy greens
- Seeds (pine nuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds)
- Dairy foods
Go for a walk and enjoy the changing season. Be sure to put out containers to catch the spring rain to use as your ‘Goddess Water’ for your altar. This water, as it has come directly from the Earth, needs no consecration, purification, or charging. You can, of course, charge it under a full moon or the sun if you’d like. Charge it under the Moon to work with feminine energies. Charge your water in sunlight if you are attuned to the element of Fire or want to work with masculine energies.