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Author Topic: Religious Calendar Uniformity  (Read 5206 times)
Derek
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« Topic Start: May 17, 2008, 11:24:38 pm »

Over in the Major Holidays thread, regarding celebrating civil holidays religiously, Star mentioned:

The major problem I'd see applying it to that sort of thing would be that it would of necessity have to focus on one particular county...  Nothing preventing it from being applied differently in different countries, of course, but then you wind up not having a single calendar for the religion.

My question is, Do we need one?  The ancient Greeks were fairly fragmented, divided into regions and city-states.  The main unifying factor seems to be language and Zeus.  Given the precedent of said diversity, is it really necessary for a person in America to celebrate the same holiday at the same time as someone in Australia, as someone in Argentina?

I'll admit, there is some amount of comfort in knowing that you're not alone, that your celebration is being celebrated all over the world.

To that end, I'd like to suggest an alternative Holiday system.  Have a couple that are fixed date.  The only one I can think of would be New Years on the Gregorian calendar.  Set them as a global community-ness type.  And have others that are flexible in date, but with set themes.  Such as a day for Ancestors, national/regional community pride (ie 4th of July).

And then you could include "accessory" Holidays, days whose theme places it on the edge of Universal application.  Specifically coming to mind is the Thesmophoria(sp), which is related to the fertility of the crops, among other things.  Not as directly connected to modern lives, but still there.

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« Reply #1: May 17, 2008, 11:35:18 pm »


*Tries to remember what was discussed in that thread*

The ancient Greeks were indeed fragmented and each region did have its own festival dates.  But I think you would find it difficult to create a schedule that everyone can agree on.  Many festivals (harvest being an obvious one) would vary in time depending on what part of the world your talking about.  Not to mention not every country celebrates the same secular holidays so finding fixed dates everyone can agree on would be difficult.
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« Reply #2: May 18, 2008, 12:12:22 am »

*Tries to remember what was discussed in that thread*
lol  It was rather a while ago wasn't it.  The thread ranged from what to do for major festivals, to which 12 Olympians, from a tangent into wicca-flavored hellenism to a suggestion of two festivals (per month), a larger one to the Theoi in general, and a smaller one to the 'God-of-the-month.'

The ancient Greeks were indeed fragmented and each region did have its own festival dates.  But I think you would find it difficult to create a schedule that everyone can agree on.  Many festivals (harvest being an obvious one) would vary in time depending on what part of the world your talking about.  Not to mention not every country celebrates the same secular holidays so finding fixed dates everyone can agree on would be difficult.

My point exactly.

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« Reply #3: May 18, 2008, 08:39:08 am »

My question is, Do we need one?  The ancient Greeks were fairly fragmented, divided into regions and city-states.  The main unifying factor seems to be language and Zeus.  Given the precedent of said diversity, is it really necessary for a person in America to celebrate the same holiday at the same time as someone in Australia, as someone in Argentina?

Necessary, no -- but perhaps desirable for deity-centered holidays. Local holidays wouldn't need to be the same, but some commonality of major holidays would be nice (IMHO) given the small size of our religion. It feels bigger if you know a lot of other people are doing X the same day you are. It's harder to just skip it because you have extra work or your children are screaming to go play.

Quote
And then you could include "accessory" Holidays, days whose theme places it on the edge of Universal application.  Specifically coming to mind is the Thesmophoria(sp), which is related to the fertility of the crops, among other things.  Not as directly connected to modern lives, but still there.

It would be a bit hard to do given that planting seasons vary greatly even in the same hemisphere. Things like this seem better candidates for local holidays than universal ones.
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« Reply #4: May 23, 2008, 08:20:12 am »

My question is, Do we need one?  The ancient Greeks were fairly fragmented, divided into regions and city-states.  Given the precedent of said diversity, is it really necessary for a person in America to celebrate the same holiday at the same time as someone in Australia, as someone in Argentina?

We tend to use the Athenian calendar because it's the most well attested and because agreeing a different one would be nigh on impossable. My only concession is celebrating Kronia during the Winter Solstice because some Hellenic city-states did celebrate it at that time and because it covers the winter holiday celebrations common today.
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« Reply #5: May 23, 2008, 10:10:10 pm »

Necessary, no -- but perhaps desirable for deity-centered holidays. Local holidays wouldn't need to be the same, but some commonality of major holidays would be nice (IMHO) given the small size of our religion. It feels bigger if you know a lot of other people are doing X the same day you are. It's harder to just skip it because you have extra work or your children are screaming to go play.

It would be a bit hard to do given that planting seasons vary greatly even in the same hemisphere. Things like this seem better candidates for local holidays than universal ones.

I think we're using a slightly different interpretation for 'universal.'  You seem to be meaning 'everyone does *something* on the same day,' while I'm aiming for 'everyone does *something* at some point (during the year)."

I was trying to address the idea of celebrating local civic holidays religiously.  To do that, I disconnected their Ideas from specific dates, so that they could be reattatched to days of importance in an individuals community.   I certainly think there should be some holidays celebrated among the global community, so maybe I cut loose too many.

Part of the reason could be (meaning is probably) due to the fact that I live in a tourist town.  As such, my community is pretty much defined by the school year and seasons.  So I'm made aware of differences in season from place to place, and how they influence actions.

(more to general now)
This thread has made me realize my understanding of ancient holidays isn't quite accurate.  Does anyone have links to (relatively detailed) information on them?  A google search gives me lists of ancient holidays.  Which I can use to search for them individually, but...  If someone doesn't mind sharing link-lists from their own research, it'd save a lot of time.

Web-links would be best.   The Library is impractical for me, but not impossible.
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« Reply #6: May 23, 2008, 10:32:29 pm »

I think we're using a slightly different interpretation for 'universal.'  You seem to be meaning 'everyone does *something* on the same day,' while I'm aiming for 'everyone does *something* at some point (during the year)."

Yes, that's how I was taking "universal" the way I usually do. Sorry about that. The way you were using it makes things much less troublesome.

Quote
I was trying to address the idea of celebrating local civic holidays religiously.  To do that, I disconnected their Ideas from specific dates, so that they could be reattatched to days of importance in an individuals community.
 

That could work for some civic holidays, but most only make sense in their homeland. Not every nation has an independence day, for example.


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« Reply #7: May 23, 2008, 11:28:51 pm »

That good work fort some civic holidays, but most only make sense in their homeland. Not every nation has an independence day, for example.

lol  We don't have to be limited to my examples.  With the 4th July example I was trying to focus on the community identity angle.  Like, "I'm an American and proud of it."  But that's not quite right.   Um... Inclusion in and acknowledgement of local community, displays of patriotism.  I got the concept from the movie 300, when Leonides yells at someone: "This. Is. SPARTA."  And the various community groups (phratry/deme/), but on a larger scale.  It's a concept I would think most cultures have.

To take the values of the ancient Greeks, that they celebrated, and find inspiration in modern expressions of equivalent values.

And there's no need to apologize for having a different variation of definition.  You say tomato, I say tomato... wait  *wanders off "tomato, tomato, tomato*
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« Reply #8: May 24, 2008, 07:59:54 am »

lol  We don't have to be limited to my examples.  With the 4th July example I was trying to focus on the community identity angle.

I guess the problem I'm having is trying to seem to me to be local holidays somehow celebrated in some generic form everywhere.  I could see a set of standard religion holidays and even that some of them might vary in date depending on the location. I just can't grok the idea of some type of standardized local religious holidays celebrated at at the time of local holidays in the area. (Which is what I think you are suggesting.) To me it would just be better for each locality to have its own local festivals based on its own local history and culture -- which is what the Greek city-states seem to have done.
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« Reply #9: May 24, 2008, 03:29:46 pm »

I could see a set of standard religion holidays and even that some of them might vary in date depending on the location.
At least I know I'm making myself understandable.

I guess the problem I'm having is trying to seem to me to be local holidays somehow celebrated in some generic form everywhere...
...I just can't grok the idea of some type of standardized local religious holidays celebrated at at the time of local holidays in the area.
See, I'm coming to it from the other direction.  Granted I'm not well read on the subject of holidays, but I would think there would be general forms to local holidays, and that said forms are acknowledged in many places.  So it would be taking existing 'generic forms' and interpreting them through local holidays.  Our part in the organizing would be to say "these are common things/concepts to celebrate, and here are some ideas to celebrate them during local, secular holidays."

Take for example, celebrations for the dead.  They exist probably everywhere.  We would say "It is important to honor ones ancestors and those who have gone before,"  and follow with suggestions that it could be celebrated on Halloween, Dia de los Muertos, Memorial Day, Decoration Day etc., or on ancient Genesia (5 Boedromion~end of Aug) or the Nekysia, on the anniversary of a death .  We could discuss (or reference existing threads) who counts as ancestors and how to properly honor those of a different religion.  Also how to weave in Greek elements to more modern activities.
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« Reply #10: May 24, 2008, 06:23:17 pm »

Take for example, celebrations for the dead.  They exist probably everywhere.  We would say "It is important to honor ones ancestors and those who have gone before,"  and follow with suggestions that it could be celebrated on Halloween, Dia de los Muertos, Memorial Day, Decoration Day etc., or on ancient Genesia (5 Boedromion~end of Aug) or the Nekysia, on the anniversary of a death .  We could discuss (or reference existing threads) who counts as ancestors and how to properly honor those of a different religion.  Also how to weave in Greek elements to more modern activities.

Interesting idea. I'd really have to think about it, however.
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