Īuos Sedati // Festival of Sedatos

The importance of developing unique religious traditions in a fledgling reconstructed tribal practice has already been explored in depth by others within the community, and a religious tradition so fractionally attested as that of Continental Celtic Polytheism is no stranger to innovation.[1] It is on these grounds that a new Norican holiday tradtition will here be founded, beginning with a celebration of Sedatos, here called Īuos Sedati (Ειουος Σεδατι).

In terms on cultural and religious reconstruction/revival, comparative cultural analysis is an invaluable asset.[2] As has already been discussed in this series[3], Sedatos in associated with Vulcan in interpretatio Romana, and is then, by association, also connected with Hephaestos. Because of this association, a fundamental starting point for constructing a holiday tradition in honor of Sedatos is the Greco-Roman festivals of Vulcanalia and Chalceia.

Historical Support:

Vulcanalia is the Roman festival in honor of Vulcan.[4] Several traditions for this festival are attested, and a few are actually helpful in reconstructing a Norican festival for Sedatos. Firstly, as can be expected, a large offering was made to Vulcan during the Vulcanalia. As part of the festival, large bonfires were lit. Into them were often thrown fish as a sacrifice.[5] Another particularly useful attested Vulcanalia custom is that of beginning the day’s work by the light of a candle. The point of this tradition was likely rooted in Vulcanus’ assocation with fire, and the desire to use such a potentially destructive force productively.[6]

Some aspects of Chalceia, the Greek festival of Athena and Hephaestos can also be helpful in constructing Īuos Sedati. Chalceia is a festival of Bronze-workers and craftsmanship.[7] Many of the Chalceia traditions are directly related to Athena as opposed to Hephaestus, and as such many of these traditions themselves are not necessarily helpful. They are, however, helpful in reinforcing some of the conclusions that can be drawn from Vulcanalia. Most importantly, it reinforces the idea of a festival day of work and craftsmanship.[8]

In Bessus Noricon:

From the aformentioned evidence, a tentative outline for Īuos Sedati can here be set forth. To begin, the day should be spent as a day of service, not of work. So an observer should abstain from attending work on Īuos Sedati. Instead, the better part of the day should be spent doing craftsmanship of some sort by the light of a candle. If possible, and celebrating with a group, the Īuos should be celebrated with a bonfire. At the end of the day, an offering to Sedatos of fish and the product of the day’s labor should be made. After the offering is completed, the day can be celebrated with Sedatos by joining in a traditional dinner of fish, perhaps clay-baked.[9]

Dating:

Using a reconstruction of the Gaulish calendar based on the research of Helen McKay, a day for the Īuos Sedati can also here be selected. To start, the traditional day of the Vulcanalia can be analysed. Vulcanalia was traditonally celebrated on August 23rd.[10] Upon observing the alignment of this day with the Gaulish calendar, using the 1999 start year as suggested by Helen McKay, the date of August 23rd would fall somewher around the 5th day of Anagantios. Around this date, there are no particularly interesting notations on the Gaulish calendar.[11] Chalceia, however, is traditionally celebrated on the last day of Pyanepsion (Πυανεψιών)[12], a month in the Athenian lunisolar calendar which lines up with October/November.[13] According to the Gaulish calendar, the corresponding month would be Cutios, the last day of which is part of an Īuos run.[14] It is therefore proposed here that Īuos Sedati be celebrated on the last day of Cutios.

Sources

  1. Giamouretîmâ by Selgowiros Caranticnos on Senobessus Bolgon.

  2. Cf. Neroi/Neruoi (Nervii) by Selgowiros Caranticnos on Senobessus Bolgon

  3. Sedatos by Sapwîdhêghnath on Bessus Noricon.

  4. The Roman Festivals of the Period of the Republic: An Introduction to the Study of the Religion of the Romans by W. Warde Fowler, 1899, pp. 123-124, 209-211

  5. Sextus Pompeius Festus, On the Meaning of Words, “piscatorii ludi” and Varro, On the Latin Language, 6.3

  6. Pliny the Younger Letters III, 5.

  7. Festivals of Attica by Erika Simon, 1983, pg. 38-39

  8. The Ritual Year of Athena: The Agricultural Cycle of the Olive, Girls’ Rites of Passage, and Official Ideology by Evy Johanne Haland, 2012, pg. 256

  9. Celtnet Ancient Recipes Clay-Baked Fish

  10. The Roman Festivals of the Period of the Republic: An Introduction to the Study of the Religion of the Romans by W. Warde Fowler, 1899, pp. 123-124, 209-211

  11. Coligny-App by Shane Krusen, based on the research of Helen McKay

  12. Festivals of Attica by Erika Simon, 1983, pg. 38-39

  13. “Attic calendar,” In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, by Wikipedia contributors, 2019

  14. Coligny-App by Shane Krusen, based on the research of Helen McKay