It is the season for feasting. The harvest is in full swing as are preparations to celebrate the abundance. Sonoma County just hosted the Heirloom Tomato Festival, and the Sonoma County Harvest Fair, good examples of public harvest celebrations.
Historically, feasting served many purposes: to display opulence, pay debts, frighten enemies, gain allies, negotiate war and peace, communicate with the gods, honor the dead and celebrate rites of passage.
A Sumerian myth dating from 3000-2350 BC relates the story of the god Enki offering butter cakes and beer to the goddess Inanna. The Feast of the Blessed Sacrament that was created by four immigrant men to commemorate the festivals and sacraments of their Portuguese heritage continues as the largest Portuguese Feast in the world. (portuguesefeast.com).
Our Thanksgiving tradition is a good contemporary example of public feasting and harvest celebration.
Rites of Passage feasting is engaged regularly by all peoples. Births, deaths, marriages, retirements, accomplishments, award ceremonies, are all feasting events, bringing together families and communities.
This week I invite you to bring greater awareness to how and why you participate in feasting; giving thanks for the richness and abundance we enjoy in these precious moments.