1)Mithras had a supper and a kind of eucharist ritual where a bull is slain and eaten. In the two photos above, two versions of Mithras. The colourful one depicts Mithras with a cape of the universe with all the stars inside. The relief carving is from Iran and depicts Mithras on the left with radiant sun coming from his head. Other foods celebrating the new year in Iran are apples, wheat sprouts, bakalava, garlic, sumac berries, eggs and apples.
2) "If the tauroctony did not represent an Iranian myth, what did it represent? Starting in the mid-1970's, several scholars (including Roger Beck of the University of Toronto, Stanley Insler of Yale University, Michael Speidel of the University of Hawaii, Alessandro Bausani of the University of Rome and me) put forward new interpretations of the tauroctony (and of Mithraism) based on the hypothesis that the picture is actually a star map." from
Mithras temple in Capua, Italy.
3) "This remarkable explanation of the tauroctony is based on two facts. First, every figure found in the standard tauroctony has a parallel among a group of constellations located along a continuous band in the sky: the bull is paralleled by Taurus, the dog by Canis Minor, the snake by Hydra, the raven by Corvus, and the scorpion by Scorpio. Second, Mithraic iconography in general is pervaded by explicit astronomical imagery: the zodiac, planets, sun, moon, and stars are often portrayed in Mithraic art (note for example the stars around the head of Mithras in the carving of the tauroctony illustrated above); in addition, numerous ancient authors speak about astronomical subjects in connection with Mithraism. In the writings of the Neoplatonic philosopher Porphyry, for example, we find recorded a tradition that the cave which is depicted in the tauroctony and which the underground Mithraic temples were designed to imitate was intended to be "an image of the cosmos." Given the general presence of astronomical motifs in Mithraic art and ideology, the parallel noted above between the tauroctony-figures and constellations is unlikely to be coincidence."
4) Sunrise in spring entering megalithic mounds in Ireland built to see dawn. Some mounds in Ireland have been dated inconclusively between 4300 and 3500BC.
5) Vishu, a predominantly Hindu celebration, when the zodiac enters Mesha/Aries occur dependant on astronomical calculations. For Vishu ritualistic food includes raw rice, golden cucumber, betel leaves arecanut and some ritualistic objects include fresh linen, a metal ball, mirror, yellow konna flowers and coins. These often recall prosperity or fertility. A sacrifice and sharing for prosperity in the coming new year. 6) A new year is a re-birth, a reincarnation of celestial personas and seasons. 7)A connection between ash wednesday(40 days before Easter) and Vishu is of note that some practitioners " put on their forehead the marks of ashes and sandal paste and go to the temple for worship. After worship, they prepare a feast which is moderate and elegant."
8) For Vishu there is another connection to Easter besides the date and ash. There is a morning surprise (like egg hunting?). To wake up and go to an altar and what you see forecasts your future year. The mirror, the abundant food symbolizing prosperity and abundance.(fertility?)
Does the following sound familiar?
9) Legend: The Kollam era is said to have begun on the day Parashurama, the sixth incarnation of Vishnu, created Kerala by making the waters of the Arabian Sea recede. Parashurama had vowed to exterminate the Kshatriya caste from the face of the earth. In keeping with this oath, he went to war with Rama, who was a Kshatriya.
10) During the battle, he realised that Rama was none other than the seventh incarnation of Vishnu. He realised that the purpose of his own life had come to an end and decided to spend the rest of his life in meditation. For this, he wanted a place where he could meditate in total peace. The gods granted him a boon according to which, he was to throw his battle axe into the sea and land would rise along the distance it covered. This is how Kerala was created.
11) I find for me it recalls several stories. King Arthur, Hamlet, and Moses?
12) April was once called Eosturmonath: Easter being derived from Eostur/Ishtar-month. The date of our ritualistic eating for both Vishu and Easter is determinded by the moon...and often changes so that is why it is a moveable feast.
13) Not only does our celebration of rebirth move each year because it is dependant on astronomical calculations but this spring festival has navigated between eras, belief systems, millenia and continents.
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