March 24, 2004
So… It’s A Sunday?
Following Sarra’s Easter invitation, I set out to discover when Easter actually is. I discovered this web page, which removed any doubts I had in my mind that religions made sense with the following explanation (term used here very loosely):
The Date of Easter 2004
Easter and the holidays that are related to it are moveable feasts, in that they do not fall on a fixed date in the Gregorian calendar (which follows the motion of the Sun and the seasons). Instead, they are based on a lunar calendar like that used by the Jews. At the First Council of Nicaea in 325 it was decided that Easter would be celebrated on the Sunday after the 14th day of the first lunar month of spring (in theory, the Sunday after the first full moon on or after the day of the vernal equinox). Eventually, all churches accepted the Alexandrian method of computing Easter, which set the northern hemisphere vernal equinox at 21 March (the actual equinox may fall one or two days earlier or later), and the date of the full moon was to be determined by using the Metonic cycle. A problem here is the difference between the western churches and the Eastern Orthodox Churches. The former now use the Gregorian calendar to calculate the date of Easter 2004, while the latter still use the original Julian calendar. The World Council of Churches proposed a reform of the method of determining the date of Easter at a summit in Aleppo, Syria, in 1997. This reform would have eliminated the difference in the date between the Eastern and Western churches. The reform was due to be implemented starting in 2001, but it failed.
Also on that page is the disturbing depiction of this tradition, with no explanation of origins or current practice:
Easter Monday 2004
On Easter Monday everyone gets up early; boys and men to set of on a whipping trip through the village, girls and women to prepare, hide, or run away. Boys stop at people^�s homes and whip the legs of every girl and woman who lives in the house. They sometimes catch the girl still in bed. Little boys say an Easter 2004 carol while whipping, usually asking for an egg or two. A popular custom is also to grab the girl and throw her in cold water, the “Easter dousing”. The whipping and dousing is supposed to chase away bad spirits and illness, so this is actually good for the girl!
Of course it is! I can’t imagine a girl not wanting to be whipped in the legs or, if not yet arisen, awoken by being tossed into water (and the same goes doubly for grown women at the mercy of boys). And anybody who has a problem with it this is clearly so whacked out and disassociated from reality as to not even be worthy of debate.