Updated: Jan 11
Asullus Anguli VI ... Asullus’ Corner
So, Asullus’ here, fer all ye oldsters an’ wee ones alike as ha’ been writin’ wi’ yer requests an’ demands — some more polite than others — to be informed o’ the most serious an’ needful questions o’ our time.
Well, now, sure as it be, ‘tis the season o’ festive rites wi’ the getting’ from those who it is love ye, an’ the gi’en to those who it is need ye.
So this week Sweet Mary o’ the Northern Shore ha’ sent a scroll inquirin’ as to how it is we all be celebratin’ an’ be nicer to one an’ another at this time o’ the year? Now, that is a fair question, I trow, so let us all take a moment an’ gi’e it a go an’ see where it is we lands, eh?
Now, the week prior to the Year Day, or Dies Anni, be referred to as the Saturnalia, beginning, as it do, on the twenty-fifth day o’ the month o’ Saturnius, the last month o’ our old year, an’ endin’ on the last day o’ the year, Bruma, the Winter Solstice. ‘Tis the very next day we call Year Day, an’ this day, accordin’ to Master Anders, ha’ a certain cachet to it, don’ ye know.
Now, accordin’ to that well-regarded Fornian Scholar, Bruma is the shortest day o’ the year, as we all know. But, says he, ‘tis the opposite on the under-side o’ the world, the world bein’ a ball, ye see -- havin’ a top side an’ yer bottom side, like most things.
He adds that ‘tis the tilt o’ the Earth as makes Bruma so short. Now, here I asked him, what do he mean that the Earth, on which we all stand, be tilted? So, he says, “well, you know, dear old mule” – now, while ‘tis true I no’ be getting’ any younger, do you no’ think it borders on rude to be throwin’ it all in me face, eh? – “our world does not stand straight up and down. It’s tilted.”
He paused fer a moment an’ then went on to spin a tale involvin’ the formin’ o’ our own moon, Luna. “We were not always titled thus. It was when we were given Luna, a residual from our being struck by Bellona, sister to Mars. That’s how we’re titled.”
Now, it seems to meself, that when, sometimes, one canno’ account for somethin’ in a reasonable-like manner, the Gods gets invoked. Well, either way what is described seems a wonder, an’ that be the truth o’ it.
So, since our Lady’s planet be on a slant, so to speak, that means it’s colder here in the northern climes when we be tilted away from the sun, an’ warmer when we be titled toward ol’ Sol. So, when our tilted ways is most so, the day be the shortest – short an’ cold, an’ that be Bruma. Which, o’ course, do make a lick o’ sense, an’ Master Sidereal o’ the College swears ‘tis true. All right. An’, o’ course, ‘tis all the opposite way down south. Ah, I do remembers the time Master Sidereal was bent on explainin’ it to me entire, usin’ a fruit o’ the red type to illustrate his point, but I confesses I took it out o’ his hands an’ ate it, which brought the scientific discussion to an end, quick-like.
Anyway, the Saturnalia. Now in the last month o’ the long year, Saturnius, do occur the Saturnalia, as I ha said abo’e. Brother Barnabus once told this ol’ mule that the God, Saturn, after whom the month an’ the holiday be named, was a rural fellow an’ his purview, the fields o’ grain an’ grass an’ such. An’, that he especially favored celebratin’ the fruits o’ the havestin’ an’ final count, an’ end-o’-the-year distributin’ an’ all as goes wi’ it.
So, He be honored wi’ the name o’ the Holiday, itself.
Now as all know, the week-long joyalty ha’ many aspects as is associated wi’ it. The lightin’ o’ the candles, the ringin’ o’ the bells, the singin’ o’ the choristers an’ the indulgin’ in all manner o’ gaiety an’ frivolity. In many places, servants an’ masters’ll switch their roles, havin’ all manner o’ merriment in the managin’. An’ o’er all reigns the Lord o’ Misrule, to make sure none o’ the abo’e be taken too seriously. An, last, but no’ least, an’ to the wee ones’ best delights, is the preparin’ o’ the laden boughs, an’ gi’en o’ the gifts wi’ the exchangin’ o’ all manner o’ salutations an’ heartfelt embraces an’ well-wsihes among those as ha’ safely made it through the year past.
‘Tis altogether a merry time, though it ha’ occurred to me, again, to wonder, how they do manage it all down in the Southlands where ‘tis said to be the hotter time o’ the year an’ roastin’ fires maybe no’ so welcome?
So, I ha’ tol’ ye now, all there is fer me to tell ye. Personally, I do favor the Seasonal gifts, especially o’ the fruit o’ the red type, but I find I am obliged to present me own gifts to those I hold dear in ways o’ service an’ other means as I find I ha’ no talent at all in the tyin’ up o’ pretty parcels in prettier wrappings, bein’ a mule an’ all wi’ no opposable thumbs.
Now, here, I will mention that this ol’ mule do realize that no’ e’ery single soul on our Lady’s world do ha’ the means to be celebratin’ this time as they might wish to, either through bad background, bad decidin’ or bad luck. So as the Holidays wind on, ‘twould be good o’ ye, as ye can, to keep such in mind. ‘Tis me own experience that sometimes a smile be just as worth as a Sesterces in such situations, don’ ye know.
In any case, joys o’ the Season to all ye Gentle Readers an’ once ye ha’ done wi’ yer feastin’ an’ revelries – those o’ ye as ha’ the opportunity an’ the inclination – join back wi’ yer old mule here fer some new elucidations fer the comin’ the New Year.
The Great North Tower, Northfast