Friday, January 13, 2012

Seven Sacred Seasons: Carnival

Well, the year of the Rabbit is coming to a close, and the year of the Dragon is just around the corner. This will be the last of my posts in the year of the Rabbit, and I wanted to ensure I got the final Sacred Seasons post in before the Rabbit descends and the Dragon rises. Carnival was the Gathering's answer to how depressing January can be in our hemisphere. It's dark: some days, depending on where you work, you don't see the sun at all. It's cold, as in the-ninth-level-of-Dantean-hell cold. It's Suicide Awareness month. And finally, it is the time between Christmas (yay!) and Lent (boo). That is to say, it's the time between a celebration of light and the observation of wandering the desert. Knowing Lent was going to be about giving things up, we decided that the season between Christmas and Lent should be opposed in some way to the dreariness of the weather and the doldrums following the common emotional mountaintop of Christmas.
Our solution was a season of festival, mardis gras, carnival. Rather than a single Shrove Tuesday, we wanted to eat pancakes spiritually for several weeks. So Carnival season at the Gathering was about holy parties: the kind of parties Tony Compolo encouraged us to throw in The Kingdom of Heaven is a party.