A Canaanite-Phoenician Sacred Year
Part Two: A Reconstructed Sacred Calendar
NEW MOON - New Year Festival - Two-week long festival
Spring Equinox - March 19, 20, 21, or 22
FULL MOON - Combined Nomadic Pastoralist Animal Sacrifice and Sedentary Agriculturalist Harvest Festival (Week long festival with food restrictions)
(1) FIRST LAMB/KID SACRIFICE - The First Night
(2) Beginning of BARLEY HARVEST FESTIVAL OF UNLEAVENED BREAD - The Second Night
From the Sacrifice of the Lamb of Spring to the Feast of the Wheat Harvest is a 49 day Harvest Season (7 weeks of 7 days = 7 X 7). During this time, all are supposed to maintain an attitude of seriousness, with no cutting hair, playing music, or weddings, so as not to curse harvest.
Second MonthIyar (Hebrew) Ayyaru (Babylonian) (late April-early May)
FULL MOON - A Festival of Kinship with the Forest
Third MonthSivan (Hebrew) Simanu (Babylonian) (late May-early June)
FEAST OF WHEAT HARVEST OFFERING OF LOAVES: end of the 7 weeks/ 49 days (7x7, very magical number) after beginning barley harvest.
FULL MOON - Feast of the Gracious Gods
Summer Solstice: June 19, 20, 21, or 22
Fast Day - THE DEATH OF BA'AL - 17th day of month, during waning moon
Av (Hebrew) Abu (Babylonian) (late July-early August)
9th day of month - Fast Day - Last Day of the Festival of the Dead - end of 3 weeks of mourning
THE RETURN OF BA'AL
Around this time, animal husbanders decide which animals they will offer to the temples. Not all will be killed as the temples maintain flocks. It is also the last time in the year to harvest wood to bring to the temples for use in sacrifices before the rainy season begins. Also the time of the last planting of the year.
FULL MOON - Grape Harvest Festival
Elul (Hebrew) Ululu (Babylonian) (late August-early September)
FULL MOON - Marriage of Ba'al and 'Anat
Shortly After the Full Moon
Tishri (Hebrew) Tashritum (Babylonian) (late September-early October) (end dry season)
New Moon - New Half-Year - in the magical seventh month
Autumnal Equinox: September 19, 20, 21, 22
Intercalary Purification Fast Day - 10th day after New Moon
FULL MOON - Feast of Harvest In-Gathering - Week Long Festival
During the festival, prayers and magic are made for rain. Normally, after the burning of the daily sacrifice, libations of wine are poured on the altar. During Sukkot, a special libation of water is also poured. A priest with a golden ewer goes down from mount of the temple to a special sacred spring to draw water. He returns to temple through what is called the Water Gate, where other priests blow silver trumpets. Another group of priests gather long willow branches which are placed alongside the altar with their tips curving inward. The water priest pours the holy water over the altar in a magical practice to bring rain, after which libation all the priests march around altar carrying the willow withes in a magic circle. This activity is watched by men carrying bundles of leaves from the palm tree, sacred to the Athirat. At night, men dance in temple whirling torches until cock crow. At end, the priests circumabulate the altar seven times, then beat the earth with willow branches, a magical practice to make the earth fertile.
Chesvan (Hebrew) Arach Shamna (Babylonian) (late Oct.-early Nov.) (begin rainy season)
No festivals, last chance to appreciate roses, grapes, pomegranates. Month of the Deluge: Last month's magic worked, the rains came! Time to plant the grain for the spring harvest.
Kislev (Hebrew) Kislimu (Babylonian) (late Nov.-early Dec.)
FULL MOON - Fast Day - Marzeach, Funereal Society Gathering
The Feast of Returning Lighting - week long festival
Tevet (Hebrew) Tebetum (Babylonian) (late Dec.- early Jan.)
Festival of Light - which began last month ends on fourth day of the month
Fast Day - the 10th day of the 10th month
Winter Solstice: December 20 or 21
The return of the light. It worked, the sun came back!
Eleventh MonthShvat (Hebrew) Shabatu (Babylonian) (late Jan.- early Feb.)
last month of rainy season
FULL MOON - Festival of the Trees
FULL MOON - The Feast of Athtartu/Astarte
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