The cozy gentleman and the hippie biker bride wish you happy, contemplative days, whatever you celebrate … or don’t.
This year I came across the term „Rauhnacht“ again (smoke night, the custom is of Germanic/celtic origin; as far as I can see from the Internet, the customs are quite different in the English speaking countries), and I did some research because I did not know in detail what it was about. Maybe you all know it already, but if not, I have made a summary from the German page http://www.bauernregeln.net. The quotes from the page are marked.
The term „Rauhnacht“ dates from pre-Christian times and refers to the nights between the 24th of December and the 5th of January.
„These nights were always counted from midnight to midnight. So from 24.00 hrs. on Christmas Eve, the „Mother’s Night“ to 24.00 hrs. on 25 December – this was the first Rauhnacht. „Night“ because we are now, as per the Celtic cycle of the year, in the annual night. Thus, the whole day is „night“. And the last Rauhnacht ends at 24.00 clock on 5 January. This night is another special night, the Perchten night. “
During the night of Perchten, evil spirits and darkness were driven out, new fires started in the houses, and new lights were lit. In some parts of Europe, this night is still celebrated with a procession of masked figures.
„The ancients used each of these Rauhnächte for a month of the year for interpretation and oracles. Thus, the first Rauhnacht stands for January, the second for February and so on. They watched everything: weather, how the food tasted, whether people argued or held their peace. Whether everything went smoothly that day or there were problems. And if so, what problems, etc. Everything, even the most unimportant detail, had a meaning. And those who understood the signs, could interpret the development of the coming months in advance.“
In the Middle Ages, these nights were also the magical nights when everything could happen where anything was possible, both dangerous and exciting. But if you had acted stupidly during the first four Rauhnächte, not everything was lost for the New Year, because:
„Then there were special days like the 28th of December and the 5th of January. These days were apt to dissolve and redeem everything. Assuming that the first three days were only quarrels, the weather was horrible etc., then on December 28th, the day of the children, one would get the opportunity to make things right and to dissolve tension. For doing so it was important to exactly recall everything that had happened and then bathe it in white light or in purple light and let it transform into something positive. The same could be done again at the end of the Rauhnächte, on January 5th. Therefore, during these Rauhnächte people were cautious and vigilant in what they were doing, as those days contained the whole of the coming year and everyone was responsible for setting the course.“
Would it not be nice if all these days and nights could be freed from work in order to meaningfully prepare for the new year?
In this spirit we wish you a much better year 2018!