Current Observances of the Seasonal Days

First, please notice that every nation on earth recognizes and responds to the change in seasons, most with 4 quarters, Egypt with only 3, and the Arctic region with only 2 (daylight and night). The origin of this practice is the sun-based calendar that is documented in the texts found in the Qumran caves. There is no moon equivalent, as the moon is short of the duration of a year by 11+ days, causing the seasons to regress accordingly, making such a practice untenable.

Second, notice that the year started with the vernal (Spring) equinox in every nation on earth until Pope Gregory changed it to coincide with the day the Roman Senate began its annual meeting. He was correcting an error in the Julian calendar, which was based on the sun-year. Julius Caesar adopted the sun-based calendar from Egypt, whose scholars had preserved it from antiquity.

The first time the days marking the beginning of the seasons appears in the calendar was after Noah got off the ark, during the covenant of the rainbow. He was given the corrected calendar intact to pass on to his descendants some years after the flood, during which time the cities struggled to come up with a calendar of their own, always failing due to intercalations (extra days, weeks, months, and years inserted into the calendar to keep it accurate) becoming necessary as a result of the instability of earth’s orbit introduced during the flood.

The first of these anomalies that Noah noticed was that the sun rose in the west and set in the east. There are still ancient temples in Egypt that face west to identify the morning sun that marks the day of the vernal equinox.

During the “days of thick darkness” preceding the time of the Exodus, the earth turned over on its axis and the sun began rising in the east, causing what was then Autumn (“fall” is when the sun turns at its northern-most point and begins heading south again: it has nothing to do with falling leaves) to become Spring. This resulted in the “lamb within its first year” being about 6 months old at the time of the first Passover. The consequence of the change of the season of the year were many.

First, the Jews still observe 4 “new year days”, as they call the named days of the seasons. They start the civil year in the Autumn, formerly the Spring and the beginning of the year when they were in Egypt, and the beginning of the religious year in what is the current Spring. This manifests itself in that Passover is in the current Spring, but the Feast of Tents (Tabernacles, meaning temporary dwellings) is held in the Autumn, yet they were contiguous at their inception.

Then we have the Winter and Summer solstices (places where the sun stands still for a few days before going back in the other direction).

These are the 4 seasonal days. How do we observe them today? We do, which most people don’t recognize.

Begin with Spring. There are Easter egg hunts. What does that have to do with Passover? Nothing. The egg represents the renewal of life, which is what happens during that particular season. Certainly there are people who celebrate Passover, which also represents the renewal of life for the Israelites. Then there are people who celebrate Easter Sunday, the renewal of the hope of eternal life in the Christian community. All have the same original connotation: the renewal of life.

Next comes Summer. European and English-speaking people would be greatly offended if they were told that they had to give up their “Summer vacation.” The named day of Summer was a day of rest, relaxation, and totally forgetting that the world is out there. It still is, only it has morphed into a week called “Summer Vacation”.

Autumn has its own rituals. The Jews have their Festivals of Tents, in which they all congregate and celebrate for 7 days, with the addition of an 8th day that Ezra tacked onto the end to be devoted to the reading of the law, a story for another time all in itself. Northern Israel had the “Fall Tent Meetings” in the eighth month instead of the 7th month like the Jews, a change made shortly after the death of Solomon when the nation split into two parts. These meeting have come down to us as the annual “Fall Fair” which still express themselves in a week of festivities, exhibits of skills, animal judging, and semi-carnival atmosphere as the “county fair” which is still being held in some areas of the United States today.

The “old folks” still remembered the “fall tent meetings” of the Christians, particularly in the “deep south”, where they joked among themselves that more souls were started than saved during these meetings resulting in a rash of “shotgun weddings” shortly afterwards. These fall meetings were snuffed out beginning in World War Two when people began working in factories to make munitions and could not take the time off to attend. By the 1950’s most of the meeting grounds were sold for lack of attendance.

Those are the occasional ones. The big one, and the one that causes the most difficulty, is the weekly Sabbath. This is Saturday for the Jews and fundamentalist Christians, or Sunday for the Catholic Church and its daughters. The Jews have it right: they go to the beach for the day.

The seventh day is a day for family, friends, and fraternizing. The rules are all stated in the negative, which causes a lot of confusion, but for every negative there is a positive. “You shall do no creative work” is the opposite of “crank up the fire in the fireplace and have family and friends over for good conversation”. Today’s equivalent is the football game where everyone in the group congregates around the largest TV and watches the game. Betting on the outcome is not part of the plan, however.  In the “good old days” the men congregated in the living room and the women congregated in the kitchen, sharing recipes, child-raising tips, the latest community gossip, and domestic arts like knitting (permitted), crocheting (permitted), and tatting (ever hear of that one before? It’s a lost art).

No cooking was allowed, so everyone brought food they had prepared the day before and spread it out on the dining room table and people ate whenever they got hungry. Everyone packed up about four in the afternoon and went home to be there for the evening milking and closing up the chicken coops.

Summer simply meant that all socializing was transferred to the yard under the nearest shade trees and on the porch for nursing mothers. When churches became popular among Christians, the entire event was transferred to the church grounds, where everyone in the church participated. This became necessary when Northern Israel went into their own diaspora and the family structure was shattered. The people simply gathered into synthetic families called “churches” and continued their customs up until very recently.

There was a political component to these days as well. The reason the men got together among themselves was that they were tasked with the responsibility of the government and defense of the group, so they would meet to discuss the happenings of the day and how to appropriately respond in their family lives, guide their women-folk through the changed circumstances, and teach their children necessary skills to become full-fledged participants by age 14, when they were considered men and allowed into the negotiations.

Girls did not biologically morph into women until the age of 17 to 20 up until the time of Napoleon, when the age became younger and younger until today, when we see girls developing at age 10 or younger. Because the social structure was set to keep each family’s children within the family and away from other children, even within the cousin set, finding suitable marriage partners was part of the women’s responsibilities, then opening the way for them to get to know each other was usually arranged during the annual meetings.

“You shall do no creative work.” Religiously speaking, God instituted the Sabbath, so how does God keep it? Doing what, when? He socializes. He has a throne room, which is a large hall with a raised platform at one end with a chair large enough for everybody in the room to see it. In front of the chair is a small altar where the Ark Angels burn incense to make the room smell like heaven. To the right and left of the chair are angels standing in readiness to do whatever errands may be required of them. In the morning, at the set time, the first choir of angels files in to their places, female angels on the right hand of the one in the chair, male angels to the left hand, and begin to sing.

These are the young, unmated angels, all dressed in medium blue shirts and dark blue trousers or skirts. The men angels all have their hair cut short. The women angels all have their hair cut shoulder-length, some with bangs on their forehead, some without bangs.

When the first choir has completed their program, they file out and the next choir files in, and the process is repeated until the noon break. After the noon break, the next cadre of angels repeats the process until about four in the afternoon, when the day’s program is completed and everyone leaves the hall. The fire on the incense altar is allowed to burn out, and the room goes quiet. There is no “preaching”, only singing of praise to the one seated in the chair, their Creator.

Using this as the pattern, socializing is the order of the day. “Six days may creative work be made, but on the seventh day you shall rest from creating” and socialize.