Monday, November 02, 2009

'True Samhain' is Friday

Now that the costumes are put away, note that Samhain calculated astrologically (Sun at 15 degrees of Scorpio) falls on Saturday, Nov. 6, at 6:42 a.m. Greenwich time, which would be roughly midnight on Friday here in the Mountain Time Zone.

Last year Peg and I had a little blog-discussion of the two dates.

Scott Monahan's archaeoastronomy page lets you calculate to the minute.

Check his "In the Movies" link for archaeoastronomical critiques, such as this one of National Treasure.

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Anonymous Rombald said...

I always think that the English Bonfire Night is a closer fit to "Samhain" than Halloween is, in terms of both dates and customs. This year it's on Thursday, but at our house it will actually be on Saturday, for convenience.

A big fire, burning an effigy, special foods - it seems much more Pagan than Halloween, especially the tacky Halloween that's now popular.

When I was a kid, a rural Bonfire Night was a sort of anarchotribal affair - teenagers from different areas competed to build the biggest fire, with almost no adult involvement. Also, in northern England, 4th November is/was Mischief Night, a bit like Devils' Night in parts of the USA, when the police, etc., turned a blind eye to mild antisocial behaviour by teenagers, and tormenting of unpopular adults. I think it grew out of kids trying to set fire to each others' bonfires a day too early.

2:35 AM  
Anonymous Rombald said...

I've also just looked up the dialect word "progging", which I only know to mean collecting wood for Bonfire Night. I kind of thought it was derived from "plot", as Bonfire Night is often called "Plot Night". However, it is actually from an Anglo-Saxon word for foraging for food and firewood. This reinforces the "anarchotribal" (there might be a better word for what I mean) stuff I was talking about.

4:32 AM  
Blogger Peg A said...

I think a night of bonfire, effigy burning and special foods sounds just dandy. A nice cure for the cheap tat and candy we've been inundated with.

8:15 PM  
Blogger Kat Fredricksdottir said...

Oh, I don't know...once in a while, a little "cheap tat and candy" is fun. Just let your hair down and play. :D :D

7:21 AM  

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