Archive for the ‘Festivals’ Category

Greetings on Dies Natalis Solis Invicti

December 25, 2021

This post is from 10 years ago – but it will do for 2021

It is the 25th of December of the year 2011 2021 of the Gregorian Calendar and it is the anniversary of the day of the birth of the Invincible Sun (Dies Natalis Solis Invicti).

More correctly, of course it is the presumed date of the birth of the Earth’s revolutions around the Sun. This revolution would have existed even when the Earth was just an amorphous conglomeration of gas and particles orbiting the Sun and still waiting to coalesce as the Earth. Since the seasonal celebrations could never be suppressed, it is the date which was hijacked as the day of the birth of Christ (first recorded in 354AD), some 1,657 years ago. But Natalis Solis Invicti goes back much longer than that. And to the best of our knowledge that was about 4,540,000,000 (±1%) years ago.


And while the celebrations around the world at this dark time of the year remain of vital importance in the human calendar, its relevance as the birthday of Christ has become largely meaningless. It is the celebration of renewal, of the beginning of a new year, of the coming lengthening of the days after the winter solstice which pre-dates Christian tradition and will continue long after its inevitable extinction. It is the certainty of belief that the earth will continue to revolve around the Sun and all that follows from that which lifts the human spirit.


Here the sun rises today at 08:48 and sets at 15:05 – a day-length of just over 6 hours. But the days are getting longer and already by next Saturday the day at this latitude will be 6 minutes longer. Over the next 200 days the length of each day will increase by an average of more than 3 minutes each day and by high summer the length of the day will be around 17 hours. And it is the affirmation of this renewal, this anticipation of what is to come and the reconfirmation of “certain” belief in Sol Invictus which lifts my spirit.


And so my greetings to all on this day to celebrate the day of the birth of the Invincible Sun.

A Christmas tale – but all’s well that ends well

December 27, 2010

Over 500 parishioners at Luleå Cathedral were treated to something of an improvised Christmas Day service when the pastor overslept and only made it in time for the after service- coffee.

Luleå Cathedral: image

Those thronging the packed pews early on Saturday morning began to get restless after a while as it became apparent that something was amiss, the local Norrbottens Kuriren daily reported.
When it was confirmed that the duty pastor, Stefan Widman, had not awoken from his slumbers, the Christmas service was saved by the initiative of churchwardens Georg Johansson and Hans Brusevitz.
The pair read the Christmas gospel and the Lord’s Prayer and the organist Lena Stenlund ensured that the faithful were given a musical accompaniment to their song, the newspaper reported.
When the pastor did eventually make it to the church, after the guests had retired for coffee, he was deeply apologetic, but was met with laughter by forgiving parishioners.
“In the church hall, when I asked for forgiveness for the whole thing, I was told that it is human to oversleep. And I have rarely had such nice discussions with people,” Stefan Widman told Norrbottens Kuriren. Widman, meanwhile, expressed concern that his tardiness would lead to congregation gossip. “You become something of the ‘talk of the town,’ but that you have to take when you have been sloppy with your clock radio,” he said.

The New City of Luleå in Sweden * Engraving made sometime between 1690-1710 * Scanned from Erik Dahlberg, ''Svecia Antiqua et Hodierna'', facsimile, 1983:


November 4, 2010


File:Karthigai Deepam.jpg

Diwali - The Festival of Lights: image wikimedia


Shubh Diwali

This year Diwali falls on November 5th.

The date is determined by the Hindu lunar calendar and there is no connection with Guy Fawkes.

According to Hindu calculations, Diwali falls on the 15th day of the dark fortnight in the auspicious Hindu month of Kartik (the month of October/November). This Diwali day falls on the amavasya or the no-moon day. Diwali  comes 20 days after the popular festival of Dussehra or Vijaya Dashmi.

A Happy Diwali to all.

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