February 13, 2007

Feast of Epona in June?

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I was answering an email about Epona and a feast date on June 13th. This date seems a litle strange to me. I’ve heard of it before, but haven’t found any real supporting evidence. Many of the sites where this date is listed state that it is the “Celtic” feast of Epona (as opposed to the Roman festival on December 18th).

We do know from an inscription at Guidizzolo that Epona was honored on 18 December as part of the Saturnalia. The Coligny Calendar, a Gaulish calendar found in 1897, lists a month called ‘EQVOS’ (horse) that corresponds to June or July (depending upon how the calendar is calculated).

The June 13th feast date is mentioned on the Summer Solstice entry for Religious Tolerance.org Web site, however no supporting evidence is cited. This same text appears to be proliferated on quite a few web sites (none of whom cite a reference for the June 13th date).

On a side note, one of the interesting feasts of Epona that I found was one in Michigan. Mackinac Island has a Feast of Epona every year around June 13th as part of the Lilac Festival. Neat thing about Mackinac Island — no motorized vehicles are allowed. Only horses for riding. (Sounds like my kind of place!)

I’m going to have to do some research into this. Interesting.

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