SEASONS AND CELEBRATIONS
Might be some trivia here. Interesting information. Knowledge that was common to what was once Western Civilization.
When we go to bed tonight in this Summer season we will wake up tomorrow morning in Autumn. We will have experienced the Autumnal Equinox, when the sun’s rays are directly perpendicular to the equator of our earth.
Around and around we go. Around the sun, that is.
Right from the beginning, mankind has figured out (or been told) that the “lights in the sky” are an aid to keeping track of the seasons.
Cold weather coming, hot weather, hunting season, the fishing will be good, planting season, harvest time. Lunar calendar. Solar calendar. The Ancients conducted their commerce and business by the season, sometimes roughly by the “month.”
“Before Julius Caesar” — pre-Julian — the Romans had a diagram of the different months:
The Romans also divided each month into sections.
But the four seasons of the year remained a very important way to divide the time of the year. From the earliest time of Christianity, the first early Christians honored the beginning of each of the seasons of nature by special days of fasting and prayer. These days, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday of the first week of each of the natural seasons are known as the Ember Days.
Each season has qualities of its own, and it reminded Christians that it’s time to take stock of our own “qualities.” How are we doing, spiritually speaking? What old habits should be dropped as the old season passes away? What new good qualities should we be working on as the new season begins? What are our duties in the coming season? What characteristics should we be developing? Serious business! Prayer and fasting! The new season reminds us of very private and internal issues.
Ember Days bind us to the rhythms of the planet and help us to acknowledge God as the Creator of the world and of our part in it.
I have a feeling that those who respect these Ember Days have a deep understanding of human life.
And those who keep the Ember Days have the joy of taking part in the loving care of this Created world.