Category Archives: Holidays and Festivals

What’s coming to TheFirstGates in 2014?

Thanks to everyone who visited this year, old friends and new.  Here are a few year end musings on where this blog may be going in 2014.   These are not resolutions.  Remembering Yoda’s words to Luke, “Do or do … Continue reading

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Posted in Blogging, Books, Culture, Fantasy, Folklore, Holidays and Festivals, Psychology | Tagged , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Yule ~ The Beginner’s Guide To The Wheel Of The Year

Originally posted on Lily Wight:
     There are four Solar Quarter Days (two equinoxes and two solstices) on The Wheel of The Year calendar.  Yule or The Winter Solstice is celebrated during a twelve day period from December into…

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Posted in art, Fantasy, Folklore, History, Holidays and Festivals, Myth, Nature | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Daily Prompt: Memories of Holidays Past

What is your very favorite holiday? Recount the specific memory or memories that have made that holiday special to you. Here is a story my father loved to tell. Even in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, when we’d take a … Continue reading

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Posted in Article, Holidays and Festivals | Tagged , , , , | 13 Comments

Queen Bothildur: an Icelandic Christmas folktale

I found this story in a beautifully illustrated book of Icelandic folktales for children, Tales of the Elves, that I brought back from that country after a visit in 2012. One Christmas Eve, a richly dressed woman knocked at the door … Continue reading

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Posted in Article, Folklore, Holidays and Festivals, oral tradition, Spirituality | Tagged , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Selling Thanksgiving

An article in our local paper’s Sunday Business Section both fascinated and sent a few chills up my spine at how effectively today’s marketeers can sell proverbial ice cubes to Eskimos.  They have persuaded large numbers of us to give … Continue reading

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Posted in Article, Culture, Holidays and Festivals | Tagged , , , , , | 12 Comments

Samhain ~ The Beginner’s Guide To The Wheel Of The Year

Originally posted on Lily Wight:
     Samhain – pronounced “sow – inn” and known presently as Halloween – is celebrated from sunset to sunset on 31st October to 1st November.  It is the most important Fire Festival or Sabbat…

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Posted in Fantasy, Folklore, ghosts, History, Holidays and Festivals, Myth | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Halloween

Here is a very detailed account of how the very old Celtic festival of Samhain morphed into our current Halloween. I knew some of this but certainly not all the detail Selena provides.

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Posted in Folklore, ghosts, History, Holidays and Festivals | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Friday is World Animal Day

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” – Mahatma Gandhi October 4 is the Feast Day of Saint Francis, renowned for his love of animals. In 1931, a … Continue reading

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Posted in Animals, Holidays and Festivals, Spirituality | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments