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Posted: Nov. 17, 2002
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Question of the Week: 29 - 2/19/2001
How About Some New Holidays?
June 22, 2001 will mark the fiftieth anniversary of the repeal of the last Witchcraft law (or anti-Witchcraft law, if you will) in England. Shortly after that event, the flow of information related to ancient and modern Witchcraft and Wiccan practices, beliefs and rituals began to flow across the waters into the United States and beyond (Whether British Witches think that this was/is a good or bad thing is still debated in some circles). Should we do something to celebrate this event each year, and especially, during this 50th anniversary year? Someone else suggested that October 4th-marking the first time ever a Wiccan (Bryan Lankford) gave an invocation at a government assembly-be adopted as 'Invocation Day.' What founder birthdays, anniversaries or significant-to-Pagan-history events might we consider as communal Holidays?
| Reponses: There are 39 responses posted to this question.
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| I Believe That A Special Holiday For Pagans Would Nice. I Lean... ||Feb 23rd. at 7:25:17 am EST|
|Anthony Griego (Hamden, Connecticut US) ||Age: 58 |
I believe that a special holiday for Pagans would nice. I lean more towards Pagan Pride Day which has been celebrated around September 22-24. That day would be a good time to get positive information out about who Pagans, Witches and Wiccans are and what we believe in. Because of the misinformation out there many of us are still in the closet Pagan Pride Day would honor us all, not any special person or event I hope I will see this come to pass in my lifetime. Connecticut is the location of the first Witch executed for Witchcraft in the North America. Alse Young of Windsor, Connecticut was hung in Hartford, Connecticut on May 26, 1647.
| I Do Think That There Should Be A National Pegan Pride Day... ||Feb 22nd. at 11:56:01 pm EST|
|Aspen (Gulf Shores, Alabama US) ||Age: 17 - Email |
I do think that there should be a national pegan pride day, but there are many consequences on the thought of that. If the media should get its filthy hands on it all of it would be blown out of proportion and many problems would arise. But you also have to think about the civil rights movement, that had a majority as an opposition but it still went through and now there is a national black history month. I do not have any suggestions on how to choose such a day but i stongly think that one should be honored, not only for the great pegans who have set a precident for us to follow, but also for all of those ancient pegans in celtic Britian, Ireland, Norway, Denmark, Finland, and especially for our bravest ancestors in the last pegan nation of Lithuania. We should honor our past, not only our recent past but our ancient past. Remember more pegans have died for our beliefs than any other group in the history of humanity.
| If A Particular Coven Or Solitary Wants To Name A Certain Day... ||Feb 22nd. at 1:13:56 pm EST|
|Morgaine Moonsong (Springfield, Massachusetts US) ||Age: 20 |
If a particular coven or Solitary wants to name a certain day a holiday for themselves, that's fine. However there are way too many different perspectives to have just one day marked off as a pagan holiday. Because there are so many "founders" of the Craft i.e. founders of traditions, and a whole heckuva lot of important Pagan people it would be extremely difficult to honor all of these people by themselves. Perhaps a day set aside as an official Pagan Pride Day would be good, but there are so many different opinions how would any one set a day that would satisfy the majority? Would a prominent Pagan get to pick the day or would there be a poll? Would only one coven be involved in the choosing or would you get every coven and solitary to choose? And if so how would the decision be made? Unfortunately, this is a very tough topic, as it could step on a lot of toes. Would we want the government to declare this a national holiday? Boy, that would raise a lot of ruckus with the radical right wing! This is something that needs a lot of planning and thought.
| A Group That I Circle With In Massachusetts Has And Will Continue... ||Feb 22nd. at 12:41:43 pm EST|
|Amy Davis (South Deerfield, Massachusetts US) ||Age: 28 - Email |
A group that I circle with in Massachusetts has and will continue to put on a "Pagan Pride Day" event on or around September 22-24. We always have a wonderful time and there is always a great turnout. Why not think about making that time of year or another specific date a day to celebrate and have pride in our religion? Won't George 'Dubya' be surprised when he sees there really ARE Pagans who have voices?!?!
| Mm...my First Thought Was That It Should Be My Birthday, August... ||Feb 22nd. at 6:16:35 am EST|
|Raindancer (Christchurch, New Zealand) ||Age: 52 - Email |
MM...My first thought was that it should be my birthday, August 1, but thats taken already... seriously, I guess that as much as I like holidays, I have to come down on the side of those who see no need for some kind of "Official" holiday. There are so many already, and none of the suggestions so far has had anything approaching a universal appeal.
I think that declared OFFICIAL HOLIDAYS TM, times that may mean something to someone like Gerald Gardner Ran Out of Toilet Paper Day, but not to others, will only end up being a joke. Actually, that one already did.
There are too many Traditions, and beliefs to umbrella under one day. This is not to mention all the Eclectic Unrepentant Solitary folk like me. Its too bureaucratic/Hallmark for me.
I think that it can be said that there are as many traditions as there are people practicing. Everyone has their own slant. What I WOULD suggest is that each and every one of us, might consider making our Initiation/dedication day, or whenever it was that we made the decision to get off the fence and follow our path. It might be a day to look back on how far you've come, what you've learned, reexamine your beliefs again... have they changed, are they the same? What trials and tests has our decision brought upon us, and how have we grown as a result.
In short, personal Dedication day, might be a time to re-examine ourselves, and reaffirm our faith. Each one of us should make the choice of their day, we're too individualistic to agree on any one day, or to allow ourselves to have one chosen for us. Its a nice thought in some ways, but I don't think its very practical. Blessed Be Raindancer
| For Me, The Best Holidays Are Those That Are Celebrated First And... ||Feb 22nd. at 6:01:16 am EST|
|Richard Seward (San Francisco, California US) ||Age: 49 - Email |
For me, the best holidays are those that are celebrated first and only then given governmental sanction. The reverse never quite works out. "President's Day" is an example of a holiday that has governmental sanction but no celebration. Halloween-Samhain and Chinese New Years-Festival of Lanterns are exemplary of holidays that are celebrated and enjoyed without governmental sanction ... especially in San Francisco. Days that mark events I want to celebrate become public holidays when many others feel as I do.
June 22nd and thereabouts is taken in my family ... Father's Day and Gay Pride Day come at that time of the year (no they are NOT mutually exclusive **grin**) My family also celebrates the turnings of the lunar and the solar year. And the day of first snow in Alaska. And the day the roses bloom on the fire escape. And the first day over 75 and sunny in the Bay area. And ... well, you get my drift.
I think we each celebrate our own holidays and then as many families celebrate simultaneously, critical mass is reached and the day is recognized by the society at large. I would hate to see a Pagan-Wiccan holiday on the books with the same impact National Pickle Month.
| Scott Cunningham's Birthday.... Just Because He Was A Neat Guy Who Initiated... ||Feb 22nd. at 12:15:10 am EST|
|Parvati's Tigress (San Antonio, Texas US) ||Age: 17 - Email |
Scott Cunningham's Birthday....
Just because he was a neat guy who initiated a lot of us to the idea of Paganism.
| I'd Like To See The Date That The Helms Amendment Was Defeated... ||Feb 21st. at 9:01:16 pm EST|
|MythBlade Talismonger (Jackson, Michigan US) ||Age: 35 - Email |
I'd like to see the date that the Helms Amendment was defeated ( a measure attempting to refuse non-profit, tax-exempt status to to any organization "promoting witchcraft") being made a day of rememberance, of reaffirming our right to practice the religion that we choose, and of reminding us we must fight to retain that right.
| Firm Believer In The More The Better! I Love Holidays And Not... ||Feb 21st. at 2:04:42 pm EST|
|Jen (Columbus, Ohio US) ||Age: 28 - Email |
Firm believer in the more the better!
I love holidays and not those silly here is a card and candy or wave a flag kind where you dont even get a day off and they really mean zipola. I would love to see more holidays added to the offical calendar WITH the accompanying federal holiday status, thank you very much. I still say it is a corporate America plot to keep us working as much as possible to earn them fat profits off the back of the Earth and us too. GASP, another day off, how dare you, you are too lazy to be American!
Off my rant. I think we should start with expanding our existing holidays. From what I understand they used to be celebrated over several days. I would love to see a couple of week long celebrations up and running. Or at least a few days. Can you imagine a Beltane festival lasting all week with full legal recognition so we dont have to hide on some out of the way camp ground. Not that it isent nice, but I have had to turn down many an opportunity because of the time and distance and cash involved. If Catholics can still manage to put together a processional or two to the Virgin Mary with the attendant Carnival (in the middle of the city), why not us?
| I Differ From Many Of The Respondents Here; I Don't Celebrate The... ||Feb 21st. at 12:55:08 am EST|
|Miss Frabjous Day (San Leandro, California US) ||Age: 46 |
I differ from many of the respondents here; I don't celebrate the entire wheel of the Wiccan year. My holiday season runs from Samhain to Imbolc, and after that, my attention wanders.
I like the idea of a Religious Diversity Day. It could be a festive interfaith kind of thing, visiting each other's rites as guests. We can even take this outside of neo-Paganism, if we want to. Picture, if you will, a nice Asatru family checking out the local African Methodist Episcopal church!
The eight sabbats of the Wiccan year are just that -- Wiccan. Asatru and Santeria, to name just two, have different calendars (and I admit I know nothing about them). How many solitaries are already developing holidays of their own?
Two examples of American holidays: Mother's Day, and El Dia de los Muertos.
Mother's Day was pretty much the work of one woman, Ana Jarvis, who meant it to be more than the candy-and-card thing it is today. It is a constructed holiday, not an organic one.
El Dia de los Muertos, though, has much deeper and wider roots, with customs layered centuries deep. And now it is transforming again, becoming even richer. In the U.S., it crashed festively into our Samhain and Halloween celebrations, and Unitarian Universalist churches are mixing it up. It's a wonderful thing, and if it spreads to the wider community it will do so organically, which is the best way.
| I Understand Your Intentions, My Friend, And I Commend You. Personally, I... ||Feb 20th. at 11:20:14 pm EST|
|CedarWind (State College, Pennsylvania US) ||Age: 45 |
I understand your intentions, my friend, and I commend you. Personally, I don't think I would want any more than the Earth Mother has given us Herself...the change of the seasons, the moon phases...all sacred gifts from Her.
For me, every day that I am able to listen to the birds in my yard, and watch the wind play in the branches of the trees in my woods, and step outside and breath deeply and feel Her breeze on my cheek, or be greeted by the warmth of Brother Sun, is holiday enough for me.
The real validation is in my heart as a gift from Her--they mean more to me than any holiday proclaimed by society.
In Peace and Light,
| Your Suggestions Stated In The Question Sound Great, But I Feel That... ||Feb 20th. at 10:11:44 pm EST|
|Ember (Salisbury, Maryland US) ||Age: 23 - Email |
Your suggestions stated in the question sound great, but I feel that Earth Day is already the unspoken 9th Pagan holiday! :) Also I felt that Grandparents Day (when is it? I have no clue) could be celebrated in a Pagan way as "Elders Day"... a day where we recognize those wise leaders who have mentored us. We each individualy have people we consider "Elders" they deserve to be recognized!
One day everyone could use is "Religious Diversity Day".....I doubt we will get such a day as a national holiday in the next 4 years... grumble grumble grumble
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