In the “Making Connections” feature of The Daily Feast, I hope to celebrate the “history and the mystery” of the feasts and their recipes and explore possible implications for eco-sustainable awareness and living.
Among the greatest joys of studying the calendars of feasts and seasons was discovering the many layers of meaning and the human experiences of the Sacred in every age that built on all the layers and meanings of previous ages:
The foundational “layer” of the feast is the most obvious: our hunter/gatherer ancestors’ experience of the Sacred in and through the natural world in all its wonder and terror. Their festivals recounted and ritualized their various creation stories and their sacred relationships with all the living creatures and plants of the forests, jungles or mountains, the sun, moon, stars, winds, lakes, rivers, seas and oceans.
As hunting and gathering gave way to herding and gardening/farming, the natural birthing cycle of livestock and the planting-growing-harvesting-preserving cycles of fruits and vegetables added another layer of meanings and more stories and rituals that celebrated not only the foundations of festivity in nature untamed, but a sacred relationship to life through agriculture. Humans discovered a “sacred call” to work with the Creator in bringing an “order that supports life” out of the seeming chaos of life in the wilderness.
These foundations still function in the cycle of feasts and seasons in every religious and spiritual tradition. Some have heard that the season of Lent takes its name from Germanic words associated with “spring,” but few people realize just how rich that connection is–not only to what is celebrated in the Christian calendar, but so many of the daily “lifestyle” practices and behaviors associate with “Lent” are among the most eco-friendly and eco-aware of any tradition.
Hope you will log-in again in March for posts under Making Connections in Lent.