The week of pessach / passover has started. All over the world Jews are remembering the flight from Egypt after generations of slavery by quite a number of customs which vary by tradition and level of religiouseness. Eventually Pessach will end with the Seder-evening where jewish families and families of the heard will gather for a large feast. A considerable number of which are scatered around the world during the year. It perhaps is the one jewish celebration that resembles the extended-familty gathering-element of Christian Christmas most. (And for sure there will be a lot of people who will have had enough of their aunts and oncles etc. for another year just as so many Christans feel towards the obligatory family-get together at christmas.)
And as is Christmas Pessach is a hard time for those living alone, though Jews are asked to invite people to their Seders who have no place to go to. Still a lot of people will painfully be made aware of the family they are missing. I hope for all of them that there are families inviting them and making them feel at home or at least that the memory of better times is more powerful then the grief of what was lost to them in whatever way.
The “Pessach of Pagans”, meaning what I’d consider our get-together festival is approaching too: Beltaine will be celebrated during the night of April 30th by traditions as different as our sets of believe. It’s shocking, however, how fast time went by for it seems to me like Imbolc/Brighid (arround Februar 1st) has just been yesterday. I am lucky, though, because this year I’ll have the opportunity to join a Beltaine open ritual but during the last years I often had no place to go to save inside myself. Those big festivals are the time when you find out how many like-minded people are there. No matter if you like it or not.
Anyhow. What I really wanted to post today is a quote I found recently and agree with. It’s about tradition which fits so good with Pessach and Beltaine both being millenia-old traditions that might have been changed over time as people’s lives changed but the flame was kept even during difficult times:
Tradition is about handing on the fire, not hailing the ashes.