Celebrating days and seasons
Feasts and celebrations punctuate different moments of the year or our life. If the religious cults have succeeded in imposing their calendars, they did not completely reach to erase the secular celebrations which inspired them. Babylonians, Celts and Romans showed the way to them while celebrating privileged moments, taking notably the form of oracles and presents. Indeed, celebrations have a deep connection with the ages of humanity or human being, the hot and cold seasonal cycle, the diurnal and nocturnal daily cycle. Their goal often consists in illuminating the long dark nights of winter periods. Then, they become celebrations of light occurring from very old times till now. We only need to think to the Celtic festival Beltaine, Christmas and Candlemas in Christian countries, the celebration of Santa Lucia in Sweden and, more recently, the festival of lights in the town of Lyon in France.
A strong relationship exists between these different cycles which fit into and correspond to each other: spring, dawn or childhood; summer, day or youth; fall, twilight or maturity; winter, night or old age. It is not by chance that Mithras' feast in Antiquity and Christmas in Christianity reach their paroxysm in the middle of the night around winter solstice! This is not any more by adventure that fire celebrations are taking place at summer and winter solstices. Just as Easter, celebrated in springtime. Seasons are rhythmically regulating days, years and lives and have deeply marked our customs for a long time. We continue to celebrate these occasions, the meaning of which has fallen in the collective memory limbo.
The following pages try to rescue them from oblivion and find the spirit of celebration again. The celebration as the ancients thought about. At a time where it was not only reduced to festivities, profane delights or historical celebrations. A time when it mainly consisted in reminding the beings where they were coming from.