Another Happy New Year
Important festivals of new beginnings fall around this time of year. The Lunar New Year began this week. It is a big festival. It is New Year to many people. Lent began for Latin rite followers, and the Triodion that marks the Lenten start for Eastern Orthodox will fall on Feb 17 this year. This past week was marked by wearing ashes in several cultures. Ash is deeply symbolic of endings, transience, and transformation.
Ash begins black with substance and turns white with formlessness, a symbol explained last year in The Story of the Black Belt. Ashes are used to clean bodies and spirits. They symbolize wisdom that remains when all else is burned away. All things eventually become ash. Catholics wore ashes last Wednesday. Hindus used bhasma, the sacred ash, at the recent festival we attended to learn more about wound healing, told in this post - Thaipusam - Exercise of Body and Spirit.
In the North, February is a harsh month. Through the cold and dark, the first plants begin to bud and animals show growing signs of spring births to come. The first signs of returning life inspired the February 1st Imbolc festival of Brigid (the Bride) a Celtic goddess. The Church later replaced this festival with Candlemas on February 2, dedicated to the Virgin Mother Mary. Both festivals are marked by candles and fire, a mark of the coming end of winter and the return of crops. Shinto followers celebrate this as Setsubun Sai.
- To help your New Years resolutions (or remind you to start) here is a link to a post with labels that will give all posts on the label topic: New Year's Resolutions Made Easy.
- Here is the link to last year's greeting and post: Happy Lunar New Year.
- February New Year celebrations are traditions times to clean the house (and your mental house).
- When cleaning and getting your garden ready, you can easily prevent back pain that comes from increasing the small inward curve of the lower back: Using Abdominal Muscles is Not Tightening or Pressing Navel to Spine.
- Use healthful bending with the half-squat, full squat, and lunge with front knee over foot.
- Here is why it is so important.
Happy New Year to all.
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