I have felt on occasion, that we time some of our holidays at the wrong time. For instance it always feels ( to me at least ) as if it is a new year come fall.
Right smack in the doldrums of winter doesn’t make as much sense to me. When I was growing up…going back to school and the end of summer felt like a new beginning and new year much more than January 1st.
Then there’s Thanksgiving. What’s with THAT! The harvest has been over for ages….there’s a timing that makes no sense for sure.
I think God’s way in the Old Testament makes far more sense. The New Year starts in September for the Jewish people. This year Rosh Hashanah will be celebrated September 24-26. Many of the festivals are celebrated around agricultural cycles. Why in the world did the Christian church replace these sensible festivals at sensible times…who knows. They are all in the Bible.
ANYWAY..avoiding theology here, and just looking at things from a common-sense perspective as a gardener who reads the Bible :
Prior to starting this post, I picked some more tomatoes. A month from now, around Rosh Hashanah, they’ll most likely all be done, and if not, I’ll be watching for frost advisories. A month from now I’ll be trimming trees and bushes, tearing out withering vines, the vegetable plants that are done….turning over soil and adding the compost-turned-soil materials into the garden beds for the next growing season. The old….will be piled into garbage cans. What if I combined these chores with a spiritual meaning?
Then, there is Sukkot. This year Sukkot starts the evening of October 8th and ends the evening of October 15th. I read about Sukkot years ago and wished that I could have a handy guy build me a booth and I’d go to town decorating it! :) Our Thanksgiving should be like this, timed right, and then if it were, we’d have no need to spend, decorate, etc. so much for Halloween…because this is a festival where an outdoor booth is erected, and decorated with pumpkins, cornstalks, all manner of harvest materials and other things. It is the Feast of Tabernacles or Booths. It’s all in the Bible.
Basically one is erecting a temporary booth / shelter outdoors for a week, decorating it with all manner of harvest materials, and eating / spending time out there for the duration as much as possible, with a spiritual meaning behind it and infusing it.
The booth is to remind people of the temporary huts that the Israelites lived in while wandering in the wilderness.
Makes far more sense than having a Thanksgiving for the Harvest in late November. I am sure that God doesn’t mind that, but He probably just shakes His head and thinks that we are a bit nuts :)
Because we could be doing that around harvest time…’after you have gathered the produce …Be joyful at your feast”. ( Deuteronomy 16 )
I Googled “Beautiful Sukkot Booths’ and there is a lovely and diverse variety on the Net.