On the ninth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me:
nine ladies dancing…
January 2nd is here and so this is the “Ninth Day of Christmas.” One would think after all these festivities and frolics of the previous days, it would be difficult to find nine ladies dancing. On the other hand after all the food and drink of the the last few weeks – perhaps dancing is just what the personal trainer ordered!
The celebrations and significance of the first eight days of Christmas seems fairly clear. Probably because it is the eight days from Christmas to New Year’s day. January 2nd seems muddled in the meaning of the day. Perhaps that is because after all this celebrating a break is needed!
I find in several references that today is referred to as the Octave of St. Stephen. I had never heard of an Octave before in the spiritual sense – only in the musical sense! An Octave in the sense of the Christian Church is a period of eight days focused on the contemplation of a particular concept. The Octave of St. Stephen seems to be focused on the concept of sacrifice and devotion. As the Octave of St. Stephen is also overlayed with the Octave of the Christmas (which runs from Christmas Day to New Year’s Day) it seems the celebration of St. Stephen is subsumed by the larger events.
Today is also in the feast day of St. Basil the Great. St. Basil was an important scholar on early Church doctrines. Many of his writings shaped the thought of the early Church, and helped clarify many of the concepts central to Christianity. He is recognized as an important theologian by all branches of Christianity, and venerated by both the Orthodox and Catholic branches of Christianity.
St. Basil was born into wealth and privilege. Through that advantage of birth he was gifted with an extensive education in the knowledge of the world. He was apparently an observant and thoughtful man who applied his learning to morality and ethics. His many homilies on various topics touched on the importance of building community and helping others. His devotion to early Christianity caused him to give away his money to the poor, and to pursue learning and teaching as a way of life for the good of others. His example, and his biography, is perhaps one that should be given to our politicians to remind them of what it means to be “of service to others.”
Looking up foods for today I note that on the USA celebrations listing today is National Buffet Day. That makes perfect sense to me! All those leftovers who needs to cook? Haul out the leftovers and have a smorgasbord!
On the downside some cultures consider today the “unluckiest day of the year.” Mainly because all that good luck of the previous few weeks must be balanced out by fate! Of course that could just be the pessimists in the world looking for an excuse to party.
Hope you are having a Merry New Year on this the second day of the year – and the ninth day of Christmas.
- A Meditation on the Bloody Octave of Christmas (adw.org)
- On the Eighth Day of Christmas-Silent Night (dickstersrandomthoughts.com)
- The Ninth Day of Christmas Features a Lovely Champagne from Henriot (biggerthanyourhead.net)
- On the ninth day of Christmas Fitness… (revitalizefitness.co.uk)
- On the Ninth Day of Christmas Recipes: Christmas Menu Planning (brooklynlocavore.wordpress.com)