Greetings Barony and friends

Because of the busyness of the month, instead of a “Guild of the Month” ~ Lets talk about Thanksgiving~ 

Although the American concept of Thanksgiving is taught in schools to have developed in the colonies of New England, its roots can actually be traced back to the other side of the Atlantic. Both the Separatists who came over on the Mayflower and the Puritans who arrived soon after brought with them a tradition of providential holidays—days of fasting during difficult or pivotal moments and days of feasting and celebration to give thanks to God in times of plenty.

Religions and Pagans alike have always had annual celebrations of the harvest and its bounty. Thanksgiving falls under a category of festivals that spans cultures, continents and millennia. In ancient times, the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans feasted and paid tribute to their gods after the fall harvest. Thanksgiving also bears a resemblance to the ancient Jewish harvest festival of Sukōṯ, a Festival of double thanksgiving that begins on the 15th day of Tishri. Part of the celebration are prayers of thanks to God for the fruitfulness of the land. Historians have also noted that Native Americans had a rich tradition of commemorating the fall harvest with feasting and merrymaking long before Europeans set foot on their shores. The Icelandic and Norse celebrated Alfarblót,  the first day of Winter, celebrating the last harvest of the year , it’s also associated with the goddess Freya. This festivity was celebrated in the privacy of each home, and it was lead by the women of the house, so I know there was food involved . It has a long tradition.

Now let’s talk about todays Thanksgiving, or what I refer to as Thankful Day.

For some it is a religious thing, for others; 

A time to be thankful for what you have,  or what you’ve survived. For family and friends to gather.  For some a day off work, and for some a day to shop – I’m sure there are many more differences and ways this day unfolds – 

When covid hit it changed everything for most of us. We no longer gathered, we couldn’t find all the same foods so menus changed, shopping changed, and finding things to be thankful for were difficult in the isolation.. and the magnitude of loss in two years is unsurmountable.  Literally LIFE Changed.  How do you move forward, and still be thankful?   I barely remember last years Thanksgiving, it was different and weird, it wasn’t bad, but it was different and compounded by the uncertainty around us. 

This year feels different too, less constrained, less hard, more a normal sort of  ~ we have had time to adjust to the new … living experience .. and I am thankful. 

~ I am Thankful for so much, I am thankful because staying home is now a more normal thing, many have learned to refocus on relationships instead of avoiding them, Thankful that people are more conscientious about going places when they are sick, thankful that I discovered you can eat other things on this day instead of turkey lol, thankful that my family has faired very well during this last 2 years inspite of the losses we grieve, and my SCA has evolved into this amazing arena of people who have so many skills that they were able to share online to keep us all connected.  I am most Thankful for my Barony, my chosen family, my friends, my Kingdom that make mistakes but tries to always find a solution for everyone – even when its hard, and no one is happy.  

So on Thanksgiving day, I will have joy in my heart and soul, and I will be thankful for the summer we had and the winter ahead. For all the friendships Ive been given, and the forgiveness I’ve received for my errors. For the learning and the teaching no matter how hard is was to recieve, and for each and everyone of YOU ! 

I ask that if you are reading this, re create your holiday to mean more than the past atrocities, materialism and consumerism ~ no matter how you celebrate, be thankful, feel Joy, feel loved ! And don’t forget to reach out and tell people , share your celebration !!

Happy Thankful Day from me to you 

YiS ~ Sigrun í Biarká