In Profile: Celebration of Life

Sarita gives three examples of how cultures ancient and modern celebrate the joy of life – from the Celtic Beltane festival to Japanese adoration of the lingam, to the Baul Mystics of India honouring the menstrual flow.

Revellers at Beltane

“In ancient Celtic cultures, people wisely found a way through the conundrum of one versus multiple partners with the Beltane festival. It was held on May Day each year. On the edge of the village, a line of fire was created between the tilled fields and the wild forest. Whoever wanted to participate in the fertility rites, would jump over the fire into the wild wood, and once there, spend hours or days in rapturous exploration of sex with whoever they liked. As everyone believed in this custom as being good and just, there was no jealousy. Just as the tilled fields had been stolen from the wild, so it was believed that human nature also had a wild side which had been stolen by civilization. This wild side had to be honoured at least once in the year for there to be harmony in society. In order not to become pregnant during these times, women would prepare mistletoe in a special way and eat it, which would prevent conception. However, if any children were conceived during that time, they would be considered to be children of the Gods.

In Japan, each year, there is a time honoured festival in adoration of the penis (pictured left). Enormous long phallus symbols are paraded through the streets to crowds of cheering people.

The phallic symbols are very graphic in their depiction, and are in fact, perfect replicas of a giant penis in full erection.

In India, the Baul Mystics hold an annual festival in honour of the menstrual flow of women. Woman is worshipped as the embodiment of the Goddess for three days and nights with singing and dancing.

Baul Mystic in full flow

The ultimate point of ecstasy is if some lucky man gets to have sexual relations with a menstruating woman by the end of the festival.

My comment on this….Any excuse to celebrate life is a good excuse!”

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