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Author Topic: Celebration of Misrule  (Read 2357 times)
Sperran
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« Topic Start: March 15, 2008, 09:34:42 am »

Hey folks,

About this time of year, Jews celebrate Purim.  Besides reading the book of Esther, this holiday is characterized by a spirit of misrule.  In this festival, everything is supposed to be topsy-turvy and as disrespectful and silly as possible.  People wear silly costumes, shout and shake noise makers during the scripture reading and so forth.

I wonder if any of you folks have holidays or have engaged in rituals of a similar nature?  This might be something that honored chaos elements, or trickster deities, or something I've never heard of.  Smiley  If so, what are some examples?

Sperran
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« Reply #1: March 15, 2008, 12:13:54 pm »

Hey folks,

About this time of year, Jews celebrate Purim.  Besides reading the book of Esther, this holiday is characterized by a spirit of misrule...

I wonder if any of you folks have holidays or have engaged in rituals of a similar nature?

For me (and a lot of other North Americans, I would guess), it's Halloween. I always do a costume, and its more than just wearing a weird outfit; I always get into the spirit of what I'm dressed as. Halloween is also supposed to be when "the other world"--the realm of spirits, the world of the dead, of witches, ghouls, goblins, etc.--leaks into ours. And then there are all the adolescents for whom Halloween is the excuse for mischievous pranks.

I guess the common denominator is, Halloween is a time for the Other.

In cultures with a big Catholic influence, I think Mardi Gras/Carnival fulfills a similar function. But somebody from one of those cultures can speak to that better than I can.
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« Reply #2: March 23, 2008, 10:31:48 pm »

  If so, what are some examples?

Not holidays or rituals in the "usual" sense, but there definitely have been events I've been to that strike me as times of misrule or "times outside the year".  One that I haven't been able to do for the last year and looks like it won't be possible this year either is Stevens Point Trivia in Wisconsin.  It's a 54-hour competition that's done in teams and includes very odd questions, very odd music between questions, events like the Trivia Movie (odd and obscure, of course) and (my favorite!) the Trivia Stone, which involves driving clues.  A bunch of my friends and friends of friends (of friends...) would get together in a house, eat lots of food (caffeinated cookies - need I say more?) and not get terribly much sleep.  Oh, and look up answers online on a huge LAN of laptops.

Amusingly enough, last time my team was able to participate (two years ago), the weekend coincided with some Thelemic holidays, which actually seemed to fit.

I've also been to GenCon twice, which is a big gaming convention.  This also seems magical and "outside time" in a way, with costumes and meeting people and all sorts of fun not-usual things.  (Last time I went, there was another Thelemic holiday during it, which seemed to fit again.  And that's where I found my unicursal hexagram pendant.)
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