Monday, April 12, 2010

April

     To the Greeks the month of April was known as Aphrodite's month. Aphrodite was the goddess of love and beauty. In Roman mythology it was Venus that was given honor in the month of April.  It was called Aprilis, from aperire, meaning 'to open' because of the flowers and buds are opening this time of the year.
     April became the fourth month of the calendar during the time of the decemuirs, which were ten men in the Roman government who were given particular jobs. This happened about the time of 450 BC, when it was also given 29 days, which changed later to as we know it now, 30 days.
     In China, there was a symbolic ploughing of the earth by the emperor and the princess of the blood. This took place in their third month, which frequently corresponds to our April.
     St. Mark's Eve, which falls on the 24th, held a superstition belief that the ghosts of those who are doomed to die within the year will be seen to pass into the / a church.
     The Finns calls, to this day, this month Huhtikuu or "Burnwood Month", this is because wood was use in the process of beat and burn to clear farmlands for farming. We see that a lot these days, people burning their fields of weeds and brush, getting the fields ready for farming. I'm actually seeing people burning their yard, at least this is what they do around my neighbor.
     The birthstone of April is the diamond and the birth flower is either the daisy or the sweet pea.
     In the Celtic lands we go back to the celebration of Easter, which originally was a festival in honor of the goddess Eostre or Eostre. The Saxons call the month Eostur-monath after the same goddess, Eostur. Her sacred animal, of course, was the hare - the Easter bunny.
     In the 13th century a priest of Fife, Scotland was brought before the bishop for having celebrating Easter week according to the pagan rites. He had gathered together the young woman of the village and encouraged them to dance around a phallic standing stone while singing.
     On the western coast of Scotland the families would make a offering to the sea gods to send them some seaweed to fertilize their crops. 
     In Wales, families would go out into their fields to call upon the Corn Spirit for a good harvest. They would have a feast upon the fields. The feast would mostly consist of plum cake and cider. They would buried a piece of the cake and pour the cider upon the fields saying their prayers. Then they usually join hands and dance across the fields.

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