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Summer & Autumn
by Patricia Telesco
On or about June 22nd, Summer begins with a flurry of activities. But, other than the 4th of July and Lammas, many people are unaware of some of the other holidays which have been (or are) observed around the world during these months . . .
Here are a few:
July 6th, Festival of the Tooth (Ceylon):
A holiday which commemorates a holy relic of Buddha, his eye tooth. Crowds gather in the streets to glimpse the elephant which carries the sacred item, while spinning prayer wheels en route to the temple rejoice in Buddha's tranquil teachings. This is a good day for personal introspection and prayers for peace. . . .
July 15th, Swithin Day (England):
St. Swithin was a bishop who was virtuous and most beloved by the people. When he died he asked to be buried near Winchester Church in an area where workmen passed regularly. At some point, the Church felt that such a man deserved better accommodations and tried to move the body only to be discouraged by 40 days of rain. Taking this as a sign from God, this day has ever since been a good time to divine or observe omens pertaining to weather signs. Now if it rains on St. Swithin's Day, 40 days of rain are thought to follow. . . .
1st Sunday in August, Blessing of the Sea (Brittany, France):
A beautiful city was once believed to have risen gracefully off the shores of this French village, only to have been washed away in a high tide. Every year the priests go to this fabled spot and bless the waters while observers lean over the sides of boats hoping to glimpse remnants of the city. This might be a good day to consider any spells or rituals pertaining to water and hidden truths. . .
(The above "Summer Holidays" is quoted directly from Llewellyn's 1994 Magical Almanac, page 185, Llewellyn Worldwide Publications, 1993)