Groundhogs, Saints, and Bonfires: February Festivals of Spring

Campfire in the winter forest

(PCM) By the time February rolls in, many of us here in the northern hemisphere are tired of snow, and cold, and scraping our cars off every morning. We’ll be waiting with frosted breath to find out if Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow – will spring make an early entrance, or are we condemned to six more weeks of winter blahs?

While the groundhog is a newish American pop culture hero, we humans have a long tradition of being sick and tired of winter halfway through it. Christian Candlemas, also known as the Feast of the Presentation, is observed forty days after Christmas. Candlemas is said to have roots in the Roman Lupercalia, an agricultural festival held in mid-February. Then there’s St. Brigid’s Day on February 1st – the Catholic feast day in honor of Ireland’s premiere patroness, who also has roots in a pagan past.

Imbolc was the Celtic mid-winter holiday, celebrated between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. Imbolc (old Irish for “in the belly”) marked the start of lambing season and other signs of returning spring, and was linked to Brigid, a mother goddess and patron of livestock, healing, and artistry.

Brigid the Saint and her mythic pagan namesake remain important figures in Ireland and the Irish diaspora in the U.S. and elsewhere. Both the nun and the goddess are associated with fire: a perpetual flame in memory of St. Brigid is kept alive in County Kildare, Ireland, while modern Celts, Wiccans, and other Neo-pagans mark the festival with bonfires or candle rites.

No matter who you are, February 1st is a perfect time to warm your heart with thoughts of spring. Why not snuggle up in front of the fireplace tonight, or light some candles and make some pre-Valentine’s day romance? Get in the spirit with a hot toddy or Irish coffee, or get inspired: write a poem, crochet a new scarf, paint a picture – how about something with flowers in it? After all, spring is on its way: no matter what that groundhog has to say.

Groundhogs, Saints, and Bonfires: February Festivals of Spring was contributed by a Myth

Appreciate A Dragon Day, January 16th

dragon-rider-1-1680x1050The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, Flight of Dragons, The Dragon Riders of Pern, How to Train a Dragon and Harry Potter are all books and films that explore dragons in one way or another.

Appreciate A Dragon Day is a day set aside to celebrate this cultural icon

Dragons have been part of culture and mythology for hundred if not thousands of years.  Appreciate a Dragon Day is the opportunity to explore dragon history, which is long and varied.  There are good dragons and bad dragons.  Some can be found at sea others live in caves, some are part of mythology while others are pure fiction.  Some are even in musicals like Pete’s Dragon.  There are many dragon toys and stuffed animals as well as games like Dungeons and Dragons the first of a long line of role playing games.

Our childhoods were filled with stories of princes going into caves to fight a dragon and rescue the princess.  Christianity has at least two dragons associated with it, St. George and The Dragon, and The Book of Revelation, where the dragon is used as a symbol in St, John’s prophecy.

Appreciate a Dragon Day was created by Donita K. Paul.  Her purpose for this day is to explore the fascination people have had with dragons over the centuries and to become aware of their significance in culture.

Ms. Paul also has a second reason to create this day and that is to promote literacy.  Any attempt to get both children and adults reading more should be applauded.

So how can you celebrate this day?  Researching the history of dragons is certainly one way, getting together with friends to play a game of Dungeons and Dragons, starting to read one of the books listed above, or even spending some time drawing a dragon of your own.

There is one other way to celebrate this day which I hesitate to mention.  Playing Snap Dragon!  Snap Dragon is a game that is at least two hundred years old.  In England the game is played at Halloween or on Twelfth Night. The game is very easy to play and requires things you may already have in your home.  You put on a plate a large quantity of raisons.  You then douse the raisons with plenty of brandy and set them on fire.  Then you pull as many of the raisons out as you can without getting burnt.  This is actually a children’s game, but since alcohol; is involved adults may enjoy it too.  However make sure the insurance on your house is paid up before attempting this game.

Appreciate A Dragon Day, January 16th was contributed by a Myth

Ultrasound Picture Appears To Show A ‘Demon’ Watching Over Unborn Child

DEmon

(PCM) If this wouldn’t be enough to creep you out, we don’t know what will! An ultrasound photo of a unborn child is going viral after numerous people identified what appears to be a demon in the photo watching over the unborn fetus. If we were the parents, we might have to ask for another snapshot!

The image was posted to the popular photo sharing web site imgur with the caption “My friend ultrasound … when you see it … ” Immediately after the image was posted several users commented that they quickly noticed what appears to be the chilling apparition of a demon on the right side of the photo.

The photo has been viewed well over 1 million times on the site and while most of the comments lean towards the opinion that it is a demon watching over the baby in the image, others feel that it could be the image of either a Hindu goddess, a weeping angel or perhaps even a friendly mermaid.

Whatever it happens to be, it is definitely creepy as hell and certainly raises quite a few questions.

Ultrasound Picture Appears To Show A ‘Demon’ Watching Over Unborn Child was contributed by a Myth

Philippine Priest Criticized For Riding A Hoverboard During Church Service

Hoverboard-Priest

(PCM) A priest in the Philippine’s is being criticized after images and a video surfaced showing him riding a hoverboard and singing a song during his mass on Christmas Eve. He has been reprimanded by  the Philippine Roman Catholic Church officials who say what the priest did during mass was wrong  due to the fact that the mass is the church’s highest form of worship and “demands the utmost respect and reverence”.

Their statement goes on to say “It is not a personal celebration where one can capriciously introduce something to get the attention of the people”.   Rev. Albert San Jose has issued an apology for his actions during the church service, however did not released a full statement.

The video shows Rev. Albert San Jose riding up and down the church aisles on the hoverboard while pivoting and moving backwards. Many of the church parishioners can be heard applauding for Rev. San Jose in the video, however it was definitely offensive to some. The Reverend’s hoverboard routine took place just before the final blessing in the Mass at the church in Binan city in Laguna province.

 

Philippine Priest Criticized For Riding A Hoverboard During Church Service was contributed by a Myth

Mother Teresa Will Be Named A Saint By The Roman Catholic Church

Mother-Teresa

(PCM) Saints are created by the Catholic Church as a way to provide role models for it’s followers and the Vatican has recently revealed that they will now be naming Mother Teresa a saint in the coming months.

Pope Francis has been creating new saints at an almost rapid pace, however the actual process for declaring an individual to sainthood is still very much cloaked in secrecy and looks at their performance of miracles, political ideology, as well as, large amounts of money passing hands.

In more recent years under the watch and ruling of Pope Francis it is now easier than ever to obtain sainthood as he done away with the miracle requirement that was previously needed to obtain sainthood.

You may be wondering about just how a saint is created, and as we have stated earlier, much of the details remain veiled in mystery, however the basics are as follows:

  1. A postulator obtains documentation and testimony and then present the case to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
  2. The Congregation for the Cause of Saints come to an agreement that the individual has lived a virtuous life and forward the case directly to the Pope.
  3. The Pope then signs a decree attesting to the individuals heroic virtues
  4. If the individual discovered by the postulator has mysteriously healed another individual through prayer and their cure can not be medically explained than the individual’s case is presented for beatification.
  5. A panel of doctors, theologians, bishops and cardinals must then agree that the cure was instantaneous and complete and they will then send the case to the Pope
  6. The Pope then signs a decree that says the individuals can be beatified.
  7. The individual must then have a second miracle to be considered for canonization, after which they will become a saint

In the case of Mother Teresa, she is covered as far as miracles are concerned. She was beatified back in 2003 after an Indian woman by the name of Monica Besra claimed that Mother Teresa’s divine intervention cured her of a tumor.  Pope John Paul II waived the normal five-year waiting period for Mother Teresa’s beatification process to begin and launched it a year after her 1997 death.

Pope Benedict XVI then waived the five-year waiting period for John Paul in launching his beatification process in just a few weeks after his death in 2005. John Paul beat out Mother Teresa’s quick beatification by just a few days when he was beatified May 1, 2011.

 

The post Mother Teresa Will Be Named A Saint By The Roman Catholic Church appeared first on The World Of Pop Culture.

Anthropologist Uses Forensics To Draw The Most Realistic Version Of Jesus Christ

Jesus-Christ

(PCM) Medieval artist and forensic anthropologist Richard Neave has crafted the most realistic version of what he believes Jesus Christ would have looked like at the time he lived.

Putting his science skills to the test, Neave used three skulls that were found at an Israeli archaeological site and used computerized tomography to structure the correct shape for Jesus’s face. The end result shows us a much different version of Jesus Christ than what has been previously depicted in and on countless works of art.

Neave feels that his version of the Holy Son is much closer to what Jesus would have actually looked like given the region that he lived. The three Israeli skulls were from a time period that closely matched when Jesus would have been alive.

Currently, there are no actual authentic drawings of Jesus that have been discovered, so therefore Neave’s version of Jesus Christ is being touted by scientists as the most realistic drawing of Jesus Christ ever created.

What do you think?

Anthropologist Uses Forensics To Draw The Most Realistic Version Of Jesus Christ was contributed by a Myth

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