In the past month I've been moving and setting up the new house, and I haven't read LiveJournal once. However, now I'm going to shamelessly expect everyone else to read it for last-minute dinner party news.
The Winter Solstice dinner party was the last one. What started out as a democratic and spontaneous event at the Happiness Hotel had turned into something that I was in charge of deciding on a date for, informing people of said date, corralling people once they came, being responsible for everyone's punctuality, and I just don't feel like doing it anymore.
That said, I do still like eating dinner with everybody.
So, we're starting a new tradition (and I admit, I spearheaded this) at the new house, of having feasts on the night of each full moon, equinox, solstice, and the days halfway between equinoxes and solstices (called cross-quarter points, and corresponding roughly the old Celtic holidays of Imbolc, Beltaine, Lughnasadh, and Samhain, or the American holidays of Groundhog Day, May Day, a day in August that I know no traditional American holiday for, and Halloween).
These are astronomically determined dates, and so will fall equally on every day of the week, and that's just how it is. Each time, there will be someone for whom it is inconvenient, but there should be no-one for whom it is always inconvenient, and everyone's schedule will be ignored equally. Also, everyone will be able to find out arbitrarily long in advance what the dates will be, so nobody has to decide on dates and tell everyone else.
So, here are the ways to determine the dates:
The day marked as the full moon (solstice, equinox) on a calendar will depend on what Time Zone the calendar is intended for. The full moon (etc.) happens at a particular instant, and what matters to us is what night that instant is in or closest to. So you need a calendar that gives the time of the full moon (etc.) instead of just marking the day. If it happens after noon and before midnight in the Central Time Zone, the feast will be at 8:00 on the calendar day of the full moon (etc.). If the full moon (etc.) happens after midnight and before noon in the Central Time Zone, the lunar feast will be at 8:00 on the calendar day before the full moon.
I'm got times from the United States Naval Observatory
. The times are given in Universal Time, so subtract 6 for Central Time. Daylight savings time is, as far as I'm concerned, irrelevant for this.
Here are the dates I got for 2006.Full Moons:January 13 (tomorrow!)
Yule/Midwinter/Winter Solstice: December 21 (2005)
Imbolc/Groundhog Day: February 3
Ostara/Spring Equinox: March 20
Beltaine/May Day: May 5
Litha/Midsummer/Summer Solstice: June 20
Lughnasadh: August 6
Mabon/Fall Equinox: September 22
Samhain/Halloween: November 6
Yule/Midwinter/Winter Solstice: December 21