From Venus’s Grace to April’s Fools

 

You  may want to click on the player button to enjoy the score while you read…  (It’s Samsons and Delilah – Bacchanale, a classical piece by Saint-Saëns) 

For me April is a month of love, and I am not alone in believing this.

According to ancient Romans, mensis Aprilis is under the protection of the love goddess Venus, the and the name of the month vouches for that. It is supposedly derived from Aphrodite; Venus’s Greek counterpart (via a conjectured Etruscan form, Aprodita), though some linguists claim that the name for the month originates from aperire (to open) since April is the time when fruits, flowers, animals, seas and lands open.

In Roman times Venus Verticordia* was celebrated on the calends of April (calends being the first day of every month in the Roman calendar and the word from which the English word calendar is derived) when persons of both genders would ask Venus for help in the matters of the heart.

At the Veneralia**, all the women, married and unmarried, went to the men’s baths and offered incense to Fortuna Virilis (Venus’s bold companion) and prayed that the men would not see any blemishes they might have. They made a libation and drank the potion Venus drank on her wedding night: pounded poppy with milk and honey. Crowned with myrtle wreaths the women would then bathe and pray that Venus would bring them harmony and beauty. 

Today, the first of April is no longer marked by honouring Venus; instead it is known as the April Fool’s day which is observed throughout the Western world. It implies playing pranks, sending someone on a “fool’s errand”, or trying to get people to believe ridiculous things.

In France the day is called Poisson d’Avril (April Fish), and sometimes French children tape a picture of a fish on the back of their schoolmates, crying “Poisson d’Avril” when the prank is discovered.

The origin of this tradition is uncertain. Some attribute it to the introduction of the Gregorian calendar in 1582 when Pope Gregory XIII issued a papal bull decreeing a new standard calendar for Christian Europe that would take his name and centuries later become the international standard.

This reform did not go smoothly. Many opponents continued to celebrate the new year according to Julian calendar between March 25 and April 1. April fools were those who still celebrated the holiday in spring and were the subjects of pranks and ridicule by those who observed the new year months before.

Perhaps this time of year when winter turns to spring lends itself to lighthearted festivities. Examples are found in many different cultures that celebrate days of foolishness around the start of April.  The Romans had a festival named Hilaria on March 25, rejoicing in the resurrection of Attis, ancient Phrygo-Roman god who was born of a virgin mother, killed and resurrected three days later (sounds familiar?). The Hindu calendar has Holi, a festival of colour and love sharing when people chase one another and throw colours on each other. The Jewish calendar marks a holiday known as Purim that commemorates the saving of the Jewish people from Haman, who was planning to kill all the Jews. The festival is marked with a public celebration, drinking wine, wearing masks and costumes and eating a festive meal.

Regardless of the origin of spring festivities they give rise to good humoured celebrations and joyous gatherings and thus it should not come as a surprise that in 1976 Larry Wilde, an American humourist, motivational speaker and best-selling author proclaimed April to be the “National Humor Month” insisting that humour is fundamental to good health. 

Whichever aspect of the month you find more appealing (whether you are a prankster or a romantic), I hope that you are honouring the bountiful nature of April in your own way. 

Prankster and a romantic that I am, I altered  the famous painting by Gustav Klimt “Kiss”.

Can you tell the difference?

 

(a double click on the image will reveal more details)

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This is my entry for Cardinal Guzman’s changing seasons challenge.

P.S. this time the skill of photo manipulation was not my doing. I used photofunia services😀 as I did once before.

*Venus Verticordia – Venus, changer of hearts as in the one that is capable of changing from lust to chastity
**Veneralia was an ancien Roman festival celebrated April 1

 

NOTE: I will be absent from 27th April to 4th May, which means that the next post on this blog will come out on 5th May for Thursday’s Special. You can always check out Scheduled challenges page for upcoming events. Keep well, everybody!

B&W Sunday: Rhapsody in Black & White

 

Defined primarily as an instrumental composition irregular in form and suggestive of improvisation, then as an ecstatic expression of feeling or enthusiasm or an unusually intense or irregular poem/ piece of prose, rhapsody is also archaically known as a miscellaneous collection; jumble. 

The track I enclosed here is not a rhapsody, but this plantation of tulips reminds me of one.

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Maybe this broad definition of the word will help you come up with  a response for today’s challenge. If that is the case, link to this challenge post and leave the links to your posts bellow. Wishing you all a happy Sunday, I’d like to note that the next B&W Sunday challenge will be on 8th May.

I’m on a blog break from 27th April to 4th May.

 

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Please check out the entries for this challenge:

https://ameditativejourney.wordpress.com/2016/04/24/bw-sunday-rhapsody-in-black-white

https://tishfarrell.com/2016/04/24/winters-afternoon-a-shropshire-rhapsody

https://suejudd.com/2016/04/24/black-white-sundayrhapsody/

https://folcke.wordpress.com/2016/04/24/bw-sunday-adobe-rhapsody

Thursday’s Special: Traces of the Past Y2-02

If you were a regular visitor here two years ago you might remember this little church from Corsica.

I found appropriate that it should be featured again, this time in the Traces of the Past series. (You may notice how my attitude towards photo editing and enhancing has changed over the years; the fact that the colours in this shot are more muted and softer does not mean that my memories of the place are fading).

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Contrary to my earlier practice today I am sharing a different type of tune. It’s not sacred music, Gregorian chant or similar that I usually post with photos of churches. It is not even (entirely) in Corsu (Corsican language). It’s in French and it features the French slam poet and singer Grand Corps Malade whose cooperation with the Corsican group I Muvrini honours this land of courageous people that paid a high price for the French victory in both World Wars.

Una Terranova

…..

La nôtre est une flamme qui ne s’éteint pas
Elle vient de la Terre du Commun
Elle dit… mon pays a besoin du tien
La nôtre est gravée sur le seuil des fontaines
Et les arbres centenaires

…..

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P.S. If you want to take part in this challenge, leave the links to your posts and link to this one. I won’t be around next week (from 27th April to 4th May) which means that the next Thursday’s Special is scheduled for 5th May.  

 

Please, check out the entries for this exciting challenge:

https://irenewaters19.com/2016/04/21/traces-of-the-past-thursdays-special

https://ledrakenoir.wordpress.com/2016/04/21/audio-cords

https://tishfarrell.com/2016/04/21/not-any-old-bridge-but-the-worlds-first-cast-iron-bridge-built-by-abraham-darby-in-1779

https://12monthsinwarsaw.wordpress.com/2016/04/21/traces-of-the-past

https://empireoflights.com/2016/04/21/hamburg-traces-of-the-past/

https://folcke.wordpress.com/2016/04/21/thursdays-special-traces-of-the-past/

https://dailymusing57.wordpress.com/2016/04/21/thursdays-special-traces-of-the-past-2

https://geriatrixfotogallerie.wordpress.com/2016/04/21/stone-sarkophags

https://smallbluegreenwords.wordpress.com/2016/04/22/thursday-special-4

https://sonyavdg.wordpress.com/2016/04/22/thursday-special-traces-of-the-past

https://suejudd.com/2016/04/21/thursdays-special-traces-of-the-past-y2-02

https://attaleuntold.wordpress.com/2016/04/21/thursdays-special-traces-of-the-past

https://lucidgypsy.wordpress.com/2016/04/22/traces-of-the-past

https://travelwithintent.com/2016/04/23/blank-sign-of-the-past/

https://memoriesaremadeofthisblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/24/traces-of-the-past-the-good-old-days

https://unavistadisanfermo.wordpress.com/2016/04/25/traces-of-the-past-4

 

 

Guest Photo Challenge: One by Lisa Dorenfest

 

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One by Lisa:

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I love uncovering underwater mysteries and celebrating sweeping landscapes from the quite of the mountains to the endless expanse of the sea.  But my specialty is street photography; portraits, scenes and ‘moments’ that offer a brief glimpse into the lives of others, one image in a string of frames that compose their life movie.

When I am shooting the streets, the scenes that most capture my attention are those with only one subject.  It is here that I find, if only for an instant, a direct connection with another.  I am often drawn in by the feelings of solitude, separation or aloneness evoked by such an image. The use of black and white deepens that mood for me.  And I enjoy the sense of wonder that can be created by the presence of unique individual, one who stands out remarkably.

Are you drawn to create images with one subject?  How does ‘one’ manifest itself in your black and white photography?

Thursday’s Special: Three of a kind

You should only stick with your own kind.

 

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This is my photo challenge in colour that takes place (normally) every Thursday. There is no much to say today, except that I would like if you could join me again. May this day be easy and breezy for everyone!

 

Here are the participating posts. They are lovely. Have a look by clicking on the links bellow:

https://beyondthebrushphotography.wordpress.com/2016/04/13/the-three-swans/

https://travelwithintent.com/2016/04/14/three-trees-dockey-wood-ashridge-herts/

https://geriatrixfotogallerie.wordpress.com/2016/04/14/grappa

https://irenewaters19.com/2016/04/14/three-of-a-kind-thursdays-special

https://suejudd.com/2016/04/14/thursdays-special-three-of-a-kind/

https://memoriesaremadeofthisblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/14/thursdays-special-three-of-a-kind

https://inthezone2001.wordpress.com/2016/04/14/1574/

https://tishfarrell.com/2016/04/14/passing-glory-three-old-roses

https://smallbluegreenwords.wordpress.com/2016/04/14/thursday-special-3

https://thepisceanme.wordpress.com/2016/04/14/lipstick-addict-poetry-atozchallenge

https://folcke.wordpress.com/2016/04/14/thursdays-special-three-of-a-kind

https://teepee12.com/2016/04/14/thursday-special-birds-of-a-feather

https://lucidgypsy.wordpress.com/2016/04/14/thursday-special-three-of-a-kind

https://ledrakenoir.wordpress.com/2016/04/15/explore-the-world/

https://anotherday2paradise.wordpress.com/2016/04/15/thursdays-special-three-of-a-kind-in-san-jose

https://soulnspiritblog.com/2016/04/16/thursday-special-three-of-a-kind/

https://dailymusing57.wordpress.com/2016/04/17/thursdays-special-three-of-a-kind

https://unavistadisanfermo.wordpress.com/2016/04/17/three-of-a-kind

http://lessywannagohome.blogspot.hr/2016/04/kad-se-male-glave-sloze.html

https://sonyavdg.wordpress.com/2016/04/16/thursdays-special-three-of-a-kind

https://holohologirls.org/2016/04/18/ocean-treasures