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Folklore: Happy Hocktide

Hester 28 Apr 03 - 10:42 AM
MMario 28 Apr 03 - 10:47 AM
masato sakurai 28 Apr 03 - 11:50 AM
Giac 28 Apr 03 - 12:00 PM
Hester 28 Apr 03 - 04:55 PM
Giac 28 Apr 03 - 06:35 PM
mack/misophist 28 Apr 03 - 09:44 PM
Hester 28 Apr 03 - 10:01 PM
Bob Bolton 29 Apr 03 - 09:38 AM
Hester 29 Apr 03 - 11:15 AM
Steve Parkes 29 Apr 03 - 11:16 AM
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Subject: Folklore: Happy Hocktide
From: Hester
Date: 28 Apr 03 - 10:42 AM

Today is Hock Monday.

I'm wondering if any of the Brit-catters have personal experiences of the remnant traditons of Hocktide 'binding' or 'lifting'?

If so I'd love to hear about it.

And does anyone know of any songs about, or associated with, this custom?

Cheers, Hester


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Happy Hocktide
From: MMario
Date: 28 Apr 03 - 10:47 AM

there is some information about it here

including a "Beerfordbury Wassail"


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Happy Hocktide
From: masato sakurai
Date: 28 Apr 03 - 11:50 AM

Info on Hock-tide (in The Book of Days, Vol. 1, pp. 498-499); no song given.

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Happy Hocktide
From: Giac
Date: 28 Apr 03 - 12:00 PM

But, according to the Book of Days, in Masato's link, Hocktide was celebrated a fortnight after Easter. Isn't a fortnight two weeks? If so, then the celebration would be next Monday and Tuesday.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Happy Hocktide
From: Hester
Date: 28 Apr 03 - 04:55 PM

Thanks for the great info, Mario & Masato!

And hi, Giac:

The timing of Hocktide seems to have varied locally. Other sources I've come across state that it was sometimes celebrated ON Easter Monday and the subsequent Tuesday.

Also, most sources ambiguously say that it was the second Monday and Tuesday after Easter. If we assume "Easter" means specifically Easter Sunday, then the first Monday afterward would be Easter Monday, and the second Monday would be today. But if we assume "Easter" includes the entire 4 days from Good Friday to Easter Monday, then the first Monday afterward would be today, and Hocktide would be next week.

Just don't ask me how to calculate when Easter occurs in the first place!

Cheers, Hester


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Happy Hocktide
From: Giac
Date: 28 Apr 03 - 06:35 PM

I memorized this when I was quite small, because I thought it was cool to say:

Easter occurs on the first Sunday after the first full moon of the vernal equinox!

But I still don't know why.

Mary


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Happy Hocktide
From: mack/misophist
Date: 28 Apr 03 - 09:44 PM

The churches have been messing around with the date for Easter for a long time. If you're a purist, remember that the last supper was Passover.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Happy Hocktide
From: Hester
Date: 28 Apr 03 - 10:01 PM

>>>Easter occurs on the first Sunday after the first full moon of the vernal equinox!<<<

Hi, Mary:

Yeah, that's a cool definition. It sounds so pagan.

>>>But I still don't know why.<<<

Oh that's where things get tricky. I guess the early church fathers considered the above defn rather pagan too. Instead of using the natural fluctuating date of the equinox, they introduced a rigid
arbitrary date and cosmic approximations into the mix. Here's their
technical definition:

>>>Easter Sunday is the Sunday following the Paschal Full Moon (PFM)
date for the year. In June 325 A.D. astronomers approximated
astronomical full moon dates for the Christian church, calling them
Ecclesiastical Full Moon (EFM) dates. From 326 A.D. the PFM date
has always been the EFM date after March 20 (which was the equinox
date in 325 A.D.).<<<
Source

But the Orthodox Church does it differently.

I like your definition better.

Cheers, Hester ... who's now really glad that she's pagan and doesn't
have to keep all this straight


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Happy Hocktide
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 29 Apr 03 - 09:38 AM

G'day Hester,

Then, of course, you would be pleased to note that Easter is named for the oldest fertility goddess on record ... Ishtar/Oestre/ ... Hester?. A spring festival (as it is on your side of the world, anyway) is always likely to be about fertility - and who better to lend her name than the mother of all mothering!

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Happy Hocktide
From: Hester
Date: 29 Apr 03 - 11:15 AM

Hi, Bob:

Thanks for your festive spring wishes!

Astute observation on the likely meaning of my pseudonym. "Hester" literally means "a star" (and I'm interested in stargazing and star lore), but I was really making a reference to the goddess "Hestia", classical guardian of the hearth, when I chose the moniker.

The relationship between the holiday name "Easter" and an eponymous pagan goddess is complicated, however. This idea can only be traced back to the Venerable Bede. He speculated that the Anglo-Saxon month of 'Easter' was likely named for a goddess of spring. But, as historian Ronald Hutton points out in _Stations of the Sun_, there is no independent evidence for such a deity in Germanic myth or folklore. Etymologically, the name is linked to dawn goddesses from across the Indo-European speaking world (although none of these is explicitly linked to spring). Indeed, the Old English month name may simply refer to a season of "opening". Then again, it could refer to a "lost" Anglo-Saxon goddess of dawn, and by metaphorical extension, spring.

I'm afraid I'm just on my way out of Mudcat, so I'll PM you with my e-mail in case you'd like to discuss these ideas further.

Cheers, Hester


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Happy Hocktide
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 29 Apr 03 - 11:16 AM

Easter is the Christian version of Passover. The Old Testament folks were nomadic (since Moses' day, anyway) and used a lunar calendar, which is easier to keep track of; Christians being city folks (or at least the church's leaders were/are), it's easier to use a solar calendar. So now we have a mix of lunar "movable" anniversaries and fixed ones, like Christmas.

All clear now?

Steve


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