Friday 19th February is Kissing Friday. The days leading up to and into Lent were Collop Monday, Shrove Tuesday, Ash Wednesday, Fritter Thursday and Kissing Friday (source: Lia Leendertz's 2020 Almanac).
According to historic.co.uk, this bizarre custom was especially popular in the Victorian and Edwardian period and only died out in the mid-20th century. Although unthinkable these days, a schoolboy could kiss a girl on this day without fear of repercussions.
Of course, first of all the girl had to be caught and in some instances this involved tying ropes across the street and passing girls would have to pay a kiss for safe passage across the rope. Others would simply chase the girls until they caught them. Indeed, Kissing Friday was also the one day every year when girls could leave school early, to avoid being chased home by the boys.
In the Leicershire village of Sileby, this day was called Nippy Hug Day. Here, if the girl actively resisted a kiss, the boy could 'louse' (pinch) her bottom, a disturbing reference to the action of pinching off lice.
Similarly, in areas of Cumbria, the day was known as Nippy Lug Day, where the custom involved pinching the ears.
The date of Lent - which takes place in either February or March but always seven weeks before Easter - varies from year to year according to the lunar calendar which determines when Easter falls. The fact that Lent, and indeed Easter, are determined by the lunar calendar tends to suggest that they were superimposed over Pagan celebrations.
The Council of Nicaea, in 325 AD, approved a 40-day fast duration to celebrate Lent. This was the time period during which Constantine was striving for a harmonious union between the Christians and Pagans within the Roman Empire.
The start date of Lent was still under debate even after the Council of Nicaea. Pope Gregory, in 601, moved the commencement of Lent to Ash Wednesday (from the fourth Sunday of the year); this being 46 days before Easter. This allowed for 40 days of fasting with the six Sundays counting as feast days, making a total of 46 days for Lent. The tradition of using ashes to create the shape of a cross on parishioners foreheads was also instigated by Pope Gregory.
See bibleinfo.com, beaconoftruth.com, plant-lorecomwebsites for references. The latter two websites are not hypelinked because they flag up as insecure.
By partaking in old traditions such as Kissing Friday, communities retain a sense of harmony and connection, thereby bringing balance and wellbeing into their lives.
Aligning ourselves with other members of the community through mutual celebration is very therapeutic and is excellent for bringing harmony and wellbeing into our lives.
Harmony Healing activities are aimed at bringing harmony and wellbeing into your life. We have a new series of Reyad Sekh Em (RSE) Level 1 Egyptian Alchemy healing courses started this week with Violet Flame and Khemitology (late starts accepted until next week two has aired).
If you are looking for regular spiritually enlightening activities during lockdown, which help to connect you with the lunar cycle, we have the next virtual healing circle later this month on Friday 26th February, at 7.30-9.30pm (UK time = GMT), and costs £10 (+ £1 Paypal fee). During this session, we connect with other like-minded people and together we work through a mindful chakra balancing process using colours and etheric crystals, with the aim that all participants will experience a degree of unity consciousness. This activity serves as a good taster of my work in general and the virtual format of our Zoom based programme.
If you would like to experience one of our spiritual offerings (meditation, reading, 1:1 healing, a Forest Bathing+ session or a full mentoring course), why not ask for a Harmony Healing gift voucher for a birthday or other celebratory occasion?
A number of virtual courses are now ready, details on Harmony Healing Virtual Events. Currently, due to Coronavirus, most events will be virtual hence distant readings and healings are proving popular. We don't recommend giving a reading or healing to another person, without first checking whether it would be welcomed.
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