Epona 18th December, 31st December

The British Druid Order Forums BDO Public Forum Epona 18th December, 31st December

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    Hello everyone,

    Many are probably thinking about the Winter Solstice that’s coming up on December 21st; however, it’s also interesting to note that Eponalia was once celebrated on the 18th of December (Julian Calendar), which would be the 31st of December, New Year’s Eve, in the Gregorian Calendar. Epona was, it seems, the only Celtic/Gaulish deity who was inducted into the Roman calendar of religious festivals (fasti). In the North of Italy, which had been a predominantly Etruscan and then Celtic cultural area, a feast is recorded on the 18th of December.

    Interestingly, a number of folk traditions from around Britain survive or have been revived, that involve a “hobby horse” and are traditionally celebrated around Christmas and New Year, notably the Welsh Mari Lwyd (Y Fari Lwyd) tradition. The Cornish Penglaz was also originally associated with traditions around Christmas time and the “hobby horse” mentioned in late mediaeval Cornish literature is feminine. In Ronald Hutton’s works, it is noted that it is difficult to trace many traditions beyond the 18th century and the earliest mentions of some of them appear to be from the late Middle Ages, yet at the same time, it does leave one wondering even if no direct, unbroken link to the Iron Age can be established.


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