How about some more discussion of upcoming holidays?! That's fun. ...Though I have just missed that big festival wash up in the Ganges. Shoot. Biggest festival going to...Though it's about scrubbing up.
So...What else do we have coming up. ...Oh! Lent. Great.
|You expecting me to put up pictures of|
flagellation or people nailed up on crosses? Hmm?
You'll have to go elsewhere to fulfill that fetish.
Actually, let's consider Lent, but even more fun, the party before it...
|You deserve a miracle today.|
And if you eat one of these,
you'll need it.
So, 40 days in the desert for Jesus and 40 days without something you choose to do without. True, in olden days things were more severe, and enforced. They worked to keep people from eating animals or animal products. Though it varied from place to place, and pricks in power to pricks in power. (And, of course, St. Patricks occurs during Lent, which led to some modified rules. But maybe we can discuss that in March.)
And don't worry, their are nutters who still take it way too serious and try to outdo each other. But I'm not sure if that makes them more pious or not. And, of course, this being religious numerics, 40 days will vary in length depending on your given denomination. And that's Lent. Yeah, it's boring.
Fun time! Let's talk about what you do before Lent. And by you, I don't just mean the overly pious and eager to sacrifice for 40 days crowd. Oh no. We ALL enjoy a bit of pre-Lenten religion. This means FAT TUESDAY/Shroves Tuesday. Yeah, okay, their is a certain love of giving days of the week quirky adjectives. Fat Tuesday, Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, Easter Sunday. It's sad, such a busy schedule so there's no room for Manic Monday or Ruby Tuesday.
It's the day before the start of Lent (Ash Wednesday), so, like with many deprivation rituals throughout human history, before going without, you gorge and gorge and party hard. Before Ash Wednesday starts, you got to taste and partake, and overdo it, with the various foods that would no longer be available for 40 days. In most cases, it was fatty foods, hence the name it's been given.
Of course people don't go without as much now. And many of us like the idea of Fat Tuesday for it's core, an excuse to have a party. But that's how most cultural/religious celebrations go, they start serious, then if they are worth repeating they get shone down to their best aspects, the fun (Fat Tuesday is a reason to celebrate, Christmas is a reason to celebrate, Halloween is a reason to celebrate, etc.).
And as Fat Tuesday has persisted, and the whole give it all up for Lent waned, the party didn't shrink. But, come on, who would race to cram in as much of whatever they're giving up this year on Fat Tuesday? Screw that! We all want to drink and party? So, now, it's more a reason to party and puke. And it has become an artistic exercise. It's taken on bigger and grander traditions that are something worth partaking.
|Rio De Janeiro|
|Bourbon Street, New Orleans|
But, even if you won't be leaving your apartment or snow bound farm this week. Take some time to celebrate, find what brings you joy.
We all deserve any excuse to do so.
Valentines Day! That's a holiday I could have covered. ...Gee. No idea why that one slipped my mind.