Saturday, 24 April 2021

Roast pig for Christmas

Jasper gem engraved with the scene of a wild boar hunt set in a gold frame with pearls and glass. Roman Empire II-III c AD. Metropolitan Museum. 

Wild boar is another symbol (animal calendar marker) for winter...

I talked about this in my post about the locating the exact moment in time when the Abduction of Persephone happened (the taking of Persephone, the fertility of nature, from our world into the otherworld)...

Persephone was abducted while "Eubouleus was pasturing his pigs". I believe that this means that she was abducted during "pannage".

Pannage is the practice of releasing livestock-pigs in a forest, so that they can feed on fallen acorns, beechmast, chestnuts or other nuts. Pannage coincides with the acorn shedding season of whatever oak variety grows in the area.

The acorn shedding season of the Eastern Mediterranean oaks, like Holm Oak or Valonian Oak, starts from October-November and lasts until December-January...I love Valonian oaks...They look like brightly burning suns: 

I talked about this in my post "Christmas trees from the garden of Eden"

The pannage season overlaps with the the main wild boar mating season which in most areas lasts from November to January (Winter). And there are indications that in the past this was also the main mating season of the domesticated pigs too...

Winter was also the time to go wild pig hunting, as this is when they are the fattest...Which is why killing of wild pigs became synonym with killing of winter. But not only winter. The dark, cold part of the year (Nov-Apr)...



Which is why the wild boar jawbone is the symbol of summer. But not only summer, the bright, warm part of the year (May-Nov). I talked about this in my post about Calydonian boar 


Interestingly, pig  is the animal sacrificed as part of the mid winter (now Christmas) rituals in Serbia. 

I talked about this in my post about Sacrificial animals in Serbian tradition 



The same correlation between the time of the year and the sacrificial animal was also found in the archaic Roman tradition. Here is a Roman fresco from Pompeii, which probably depicts sacrificing of a pig during Saturnalia, archaic Roman mid winter festival...



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