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Wassailing revelers at night – CC BY-SA 2.0

From Saxon Sirens to Sacred Orchards: The Modern Traditions and Pagan Origins of Wassailing

Every January, in parts of rural England, people still gather to celebrate Wassailing, a tradition with distinctly Pagan origins intended to bless the coming year’s apple crops and protect orchards...
What Would The Ancient Astrologers Have Told Us About 2017?

What Would The Ancient Astrologers Have Told Us About 2017?

Modern astrology as we know it – in the form of a yearly, monthly or daily horoscope – is based on a celestial coordinate system known as the “zodiac”, a Greek word that means the circle of life. And...
Darius the Great receiving greetings and gifts from governors and ambassadors. Relief from Persepolis, Iran

Nowruz - The Persian New Year and The Spring Equinox

Nowruz, known as the Persian new year, is one of the most ancient celebrations in history and has been celebrated for around 4000 years in what is now Iran and in the extended cultural area known as...
Marduk and the king of Babylon

The Ancient Akitu Festival and the Humbling of the King

The Akitu festival was one of the oldest Mesopotamian festivals, dating back to the middle of the third millennium BC. It was during this twelve day ceremonial event, which began at the first New...
The Legendary Nian

The Origin of Lunar New Year and the Legend of Nian

Millions of people across China, Korea, Vietnam, Japan and other countries around the world are today celebrating the Lunar New Year and welcoming in the Year of the Dog as part of an ancient custom...
Akitu Festival

New Year’s Traditions around the World and Their Origins

In many countries around the world, New Year’s Day is celebrated on 1 st January with fireworks and festivities the evening before. But this is not the only type of New Year’s celebration and not...
Akitu and New Year's Eve

The Ancient Origins of New Year’s Celebrations

On the 1 st January of every year, many countries around the world celebrate the beginning of a new year. But there is nothing new about New Year’s. In fact, festivals and celebrations marking the...