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23 August 2007 @ 03:33 pm
Paganism in the Southern Hemisphere  
There's not a lot of information around regarding the Sabbats in the Southern Hemisphere - most literature focuses on the timing in the Northern, so the general understanding is Samhain comes at the end of October (coinciding with All Hallows Eve/Halloween), Beltane coincides with May Day, Yule coincides with Christmas (roughly). However, that doesn't quite work when you're living in the part of the world underneath the equator, where the seasons are reversed. Naturally, the Sabbats are switched around (Beltaine occurs when the Northern Hemisphere's Samhain occurs, winter solstice is when the Northern Hemisphere's summer solstice is etc), but I also found this today, with more Australian relevance, so I wanted to share it on here.

Imbolg (1 August) - Imbolg marks the "dawn" of the year with the forests being bright with the colour yellow as the Acacia trees coming into full flower. Until recently, 1 August was known as "Wattle Day". (This has now been moved to 1 September.) Nature celebrates the new year with a mantle of yellow.

Beltaine (31 October) - This is the time when the brilliant red free-covering bell-flowers of the Flame Trees highlight our forests and gardens. The Melbourne Cup horse race is happily coincident with the Australian Bealtaine, being run on the second Tuesday in November, a day declared as a public holiday (in Victoria only), even Parliament. In Australia, you might be told: "One thing you must remember, 'tis the merry month of November".

Lughnasadh (1 February) - February marks the Australian Mid Summer, being the hottest month and the time of bushfires. Much festivity is coincident with the Australian Lughnasadh, with Australia Day being held on 26 January. On this day in 1788 Europeans, including the convicts, first came ashore to establish the colony of New South Wales, and is seen as antecedent to the formation of Australia as a nation in the modern Western world. Today Australia Day sees a wide range of festivities including cultural celebrations of indigenous Aboriginals, as well as many of the immigrant cultures which make up this multi-cultural country.

Samhain (30 April) - This is the time of cool blue autumn skies, the end of the heat and the appearance of the silver Winter Sun. It is a poignant co-incidence that Australia and New Zealand's day of remembrance for their fallen in war, known as ANZAC Day, is on 25 April, should be so close to the Southern Halloween.

And, for my own reference, the Sabbats in the Southern Hemisphere:
Lughnassadh/Lammas [approx February 2]
Mabon (Autumnal Equinox) [approx March 21]
Samhain [approx April 30/May 1]
Yule (Winter Solstice) [approx June 21]
Imbolc [approx August 1]
Ostara (Vernal/Spring Equinox) [approx September 21]
Beltaine [approx October 31]
Litha/Midsummer (Summer Solstice) [approx December 21]

 
 
 
 
 
Effortlessly Controversialmoonborn on August 23rd, 2007 07:03 am (UTC)
Check Fiona Horne's first two books - she has some lovely stuff on the Southern Wheel of the Year.
    scarlet's walkkisstheviolets on August 24th, 2007 10:49 pm (UTC)
thankyou, I will! I have one of her books, it's at Mum's place - it's been years since I've looked at it *blush*
Fionariphertoshreds on August 23rd, 2007 07:35 am (UTC)
I second Fiona Horne's books :)

My birthday is Spring Equinox!
(Deleted comment)
    scarlet's walkkisstheviolets on August 24th, 2007 10:47 pm (UTC)
I'm technically not a pagan, just very interested in it at this stage (have been for a few years, but I'm quite lazy sometimes with making decisions and commiting to something) :)