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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Folk Festivals

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Plough Monday Play

The liturgical calendar was essential in the medieval age but a lot of the older agricultural time markers found their place within it: Plough Monday was the Monday following the Epiphany (AKA The Twelfth Day of Christmas). One of the tradition associated with the day was another type of folk play. The existing plays are all from the northeast of England, but the tradition may have been more widely practised. Chambers tells us that the performers called themselves, 'Plough Jacks, Plough Jags...Plough Witchers and Morris Dancers' and woe betide the churl who turned them from his door, for they would plough up the ground before his door.

Like Mumming for the New Year, there was usually a mock battle and a healing, but there was an additional elements: sometimes the recruiting sergeant but most often, the Fool's Wooing. It was the last chance for a party as Plough Monday meant a return to work after the yuletide holidays. The Fool's Wooing gave an opportunity for fun and his wedding an excuse to ask for food and drink.

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PaganNewsBeagle Faithful Friday Nov 7

Today is Faithful Friday and our Pagan News Beagle focuses on English winter festivals, faith perspectives on physician-assisted suicide, and the many paths of Afro-diaspora faiths in Haiti and south Florida.

Halloween is over, but that's just the first of many Winter-season folk festivals in England. The BBC shares a panoply of fiery festivals like the “Allendale Baal Fire” in this colorful photo essay.

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Early August in Hope, Arkansas, means it is time for melons. Specifically, it is time for the annual Hope Watermelon Festival—a three-day affair replete with watermelon-weigh-ins to determine the largest fruit, an antique car show, an arts & crafts fair, face painting for the kids, and music. A four-day weekend celebration of all things related to mules occurs in Columbia,Tennessee every spring, which they call “Mule Day.” The festivities include a flea market, a wagon train, and enough banjo-picking to make Ned Beatty very nervous. The Mountain Moonshine Festival has been held for over four decades in Dawsonville, Georgia and features storytelling, music, dance, and a history of NASCAR racing. As a fan of folk culture and anything quirky, odd, or a bit weird, attending festivals like these has always appealed to me. Recently, however, I have thought a lot about the potential such celebrations have to add enchantment to a Pagan’s life.

Heritage and history are deeply important to many Pagans, who frequently hold ancestral feasts for the dead, practice archaic arts and crafts, and generally seem interested in the preservation of land and tradition. Embracing folk festivals serves Pagans well, because folk festivals have done much of the work of maintaining Pagan interests and values for many years. In an article by scholar Robert Cantwell, entitled “Feasts of Unnaming: Folk Festivals and the Representations of Folklife,” the author notes:

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Gillian
    Gillian says #
    Great article Cory! I think that it can take a little digging to find these festival gems but it is most always worth it. As y
  • Joseph Bloch
    Joseph Bloch says #
    I couldn't agree more, and have been working to bring more folk-belief practices into modern Heathenry for some time now. An inter
  • Cory Thomas Hutcheson
    Cory Thomas Hutcheson says #
    An excellent set of points, Joseph. The ethnic component of these festivals makes them a good way to reconnect with personal or cu

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