2 Feb 2010


Not what you could call religious, I am none-the-less extremely interested in the religious and cultural beliefs of the peoples of the world and, February is a great month in that it seems to have more that it's fair share of celebrations - including yours truly's birthday later this month.

Today, for example, if you are a Pagan living in the Northern Hemisphere* you may well celebrate the IMBOLC festival which is dedicated both to the Goddess and to the returning of light, a time of awakening of the Life Force often heralded by the appearance of snowdrops.
However if you are a Christian then today is CANDLEMAS (The Christian Festival Of Lights) which, largely connected to the Imbolic Festival, also celebrates the midpoint of winter as well as traditionally being a festival that commemorates the ritual purification of Mary forty days after the birth of her son Jesus.
Then, of course, there is tomorrow (the 3rd) when many people in Japan will celebrate with a BEAN THROWING FESTIVAL which, in a way, is connected to both of the above as it also celebrates the coming of spring. Traditionally this is a day when people will either throw roasted soy beans at home shouting "oni wa so to" (get out demons) and "fu ku wa uchi" (come in happiness) which it is believed will bring you health and happiness if you pick up and eat the same number of beans as equal your age OR visit a shrine or temple where it is common for people who were born under the same Chinese zodiac sign as that year to throw the beans.
*If you live below the equator you will celebrate this festival on the 1st of August. Unlike the solstice and equinox celebrations these dates DO NOT change from year to Year.
P.S. Going back to YESTERDAYS POST, for those of you keen to know what Husband dearest thought of Twilight, he had the following to say
"Husband is straining to be civil, much as he fought to be quiet during Twilight. I'm not sure that I've ever seen a film so reliant on it's own genre's cliches and formulae without actually selling itself as a spoof. I still can't believe this is a serious film. Rubbish from start to finish."


chitra said...

Interesting festivals and rituals. these kind of thing never cease to fascinate me.

Alexia561 said...

Thanks for the interesting info! Had never heard of the Bean Throwing Festival before. Can just picture children having fun and throwing the beans at each other! *L*

Loved your husband's thoughts on Twilight! He restrained himself admirably.

Betty Manousos:cutand-dry.blogspot.com said...

PettyI had never heard of the Bean Throwing Festival before!.
Have a great day!
Betty hugs xx

MOLLYC said...

Ok, I am totally with your husband on the Twilight thing, although I do have to admit that that Pattinson boy IS a looker! And I always turn to you for the best news and factoids around. Charlie and I will certainly add throwing beans to our list of yearly activities. It sounds RIGHT UP OUR ALLEY. Hope you are doing well. xoxo

Valerie said...

I love reading informative tidbits like this; never heard of Bean Throwing day until now!

No offense to Twilight lovers, but I've been trying to avoid it. My daughter, though, is 11 and wants to know more about it all. Trying to get her to wait until she's older! Maybe by that time she'll lose interest.

Vivienne said...

The Bean Throwing festival sounds like an interesting one. Shall I empty the tin of baked beans first or throw them as they are!

Richard @ The Bewildered Brit said...

Ooh, really interesting post! This makes sense of something a friend of mine who teaches in Japan was telling me just a few hours ago. She told me her students were throwing beans in the classroom, but wouldn't explain why! So thank you!

I'm afraid I'm kind of with your husband on Twilight, though I thought the movie had a coherence that the book lacked. But, I guess I'm hardly the target audience! :)

Kissed by an Angel said...

That was interesting!!! Thank you!!

Kelly said...

What an interesting post! The bean throwing was new to me, too.

Somehow I figured that would be your husband's response to the movie. Hope he'll still bring home New Moon for you to watch when it's out on video.

Alice in Wonderland said...

That was interesting, I believe in Imbolg, and I saw my first snowdrops the other day. Oestara is the Spring equinox (21st March). In the Wiccan calender, the year is divided up into eight, the infinity symbol, which is also used in the Chinese calender too.
I always carry an amethyst because they mean wealth, and I always wear a crystal for protection.
Crystals and stones being a hobby and a passion of mine, as well as other religions and traditions.

Martha said...

My Dh shares your hubby's assessment of Twilight. It's all about the eyecandy, HELLOOOO?!?!?!

Elfie said...

Hahaha I think I might agree with your husband on his view of the movie.

As to the religious ceremonies, well, I'm agnostic, so yesterday and today have been pretty much the same as usual. No bean throwing or candle lighting for me.

Jenners said...

Gosh ... we need to liven up your holidays over here in the states. I want to throw beans!!

themethatisme said...

Always interesting. I visited Japan a few years ago unfortunately just missing the bean throwing but I was there in time for Valentines (next week) and guess what? It is the role of the woman to bring chocolate to her man on Valentines. Are you listening dear?

....Petty Witter said...

A good idea to take the beans OUT of the tin first Vivienne.

My birth stone is amethyst Alice so I have various pieces lying round as well as several pieces of jewellery including a ring I always wear.

I'm listening Husband dearest but I'm more that happy to keep things as they are. x

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

This is so interesting! I love your posts like this!

Alice in Wonderland said...

Yes, Petty, I know your birth stone is an amethyst, March is a garnet.
But I'm July, a ruby, but I prefer diamonds....or just a clear crystal!
I would never have an opal in my home as they represent tears.