Permaculture in Action

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Seasonal Festivals

As the Nth. hemisphere awakens from their winter sleep and with the breathing out of the Earth forces, those in the north are opening themselves up to the forces of the Sun. The darkness of winter departs as the buds burst forth. The Earth is reborn and there is new life everywhere and the celebration of Easter, with it's focus on rebirth is anticipated.

Here in the Sth. hemisphere Earth is beginning it's breathing in. The natural world is preparing for it's sleep ( not that we experience it to the extenct that those in the north feel it).Although the days are still quite warm, they are getting shorter and nights much cooler. Here and there changing colours can be seen. The complete opposite to Spring, Autumn is inclined toward "death".

Why is it then that we are also preparing for Easter, along with the Nth. hemisphere?

We should be celebrating the influence of Michael. The festival Michaelmas, that those in the North, would celebrate on Sept. 29th. Now I know very little about Michaelmas. It is not a well known festival here. But according to Rudolf Steiner, to know Easter we must first know the Michael Festival.

In Autumn we begin to feel the darkness and Michael, as the protector against the dark of night, is with us to help us slay our dragons. '' Michaelmas should become the festival of soul courage from which will ray out what will give other festivals right content'' according to Steiner.

For the past 20 years or so, I have struggled with the Christian festivals, Easter in particular. For me it was always celebrated at the wrong time of year. And now from what little I have read and understood of Steiner's ''The Cycle of the Year'' I am beginning to realise the importance of all the festivals to the seasons, and here in Australia they are celebrated in the opposite season to which they belong. Jesus was born in Winter when the soul forces were within, and yet we celebrate in Summer when our thoughts are of the ''outer''.

So here on our farm we are preparing for Michalemas and a harvest festival. I'm not sure what that will look like yet but it won't look anything like Easter.

What are your thoughts on our upside down celebrations. Do that sit right for you?


  1. I like your ideas here , kate. Having seen my own children draw snow men for Christmas and suffered through hot baked dinners on Christmas day - it would make sense to reverse our celebrations somewhat. I am sure it must confuse children at times .

  2. We have been putting together some "Easter" additions to our autumnal nature table and to be honest it all just feels like just another commercial celebration at our expense. I would be interested in hearing about your harvest and Michelmas celebrations...perhaps we too can share some of your ideas.

  3. Having an English parent, I tend to celebrate a hybrid Michaelmas st Georges day. (April 23rd) which sits so perfectly with Autumn in Australia. some posts on that are here:
    Growing up in Australia, Easter in Autumn makes sense to me too as a season coming in, of death and dying, his rebirth a wonderful promise of spring on the other side of winter. You can read about some of my musings on that here:
    I would love to hear your feedback!

  4. I was interested to read your thoughts about Easter in the Southern Hemisphere. To me, it feels like it is at the wrong time of year, but I suppose it depends what aspect of Easter is being celebrated since it means different things to different people. For me it is more about the season and so that is why it feels upside down! Still doing some Easter things though with the kids. Look forward to reading how your celebration goes.

  5. A new post inspired by you here Let me know what you think :-)

  6. I believe it's important tocelebrate all the main traditions, easter, christmas etc, they are part of our christian lifestly, whether or not your are church going, having said that, there is nothing wrong with adding other traditions to your faimly and creation special celebrations for things that are seasonal to you or your area/people. Brenda

  7. It's no wonder the planet is all out of balance.The southern Hemisphere celebrate seasonal festivals to the spirits of the higher worlds at the wrong time of year. Australians celebrate Samhain at the start of summer when it should be celebrated at the start of winter. Has the human race forgotten the sacredness of ceremony?