From my search, I learn that this is quite an ancient – as in, early Roman – tradition. Juno, the goddess of marriage and childbirth, was honored on June 1st.
And, Romans considered May the month of the “unhappy dead”. So, the not-so-merry month of May just didn’t seem, shall we say, quite right.
Further questing reveals that the term “honeymoon” may derive from “mead moon”, the first full moon (usually in July) after the summer solstice. Mead is made from fermented honey.
As with many long-standing traditions, the origins of the June wedding have faded from sight. And, ancient practices, such as reverence for the goddess Juno, no longer prompt couples to take their vows exclusively in June. Hence, other months now have their share of nuptials.
Traditional practices are powerful ways to embody significant beliefs, and create cohesion among those who share them. They can re-ignite commitment to values that may be lost in day-to-day routines. Yet, traditions can lose their power when, for example, they no longer speak to who we are, now. Sometimes, new ones are invented in response to new circumstances.
Years ago, in my birth family, the commitments of young adulthood took some of us away from the communal Thanksgiving table. My father created a “Saturday-after-Thanksgiving” meal at a restaurant - his treat (!) – which allowed us to celebrate as a family when we could not do so on the national holiday. This tradition continued for several decades before declining in response to other circumstances.
Traditions can be uncomplicated and delightful, like having “date night” once a week, so couples can revel in each other’s company away from the usual distractions. My partner and I continue to keep Monday evenings just for that purpose. On the other hand, we both came to see that our tradition of sending monthly cards to each other on our anniversary date had lost its sense of specialness beyond our 2nd year together. But, not a bad run! :-)
Whatever tradition(s) you uphold, we hope they are life-giving for you. If not, you may wish to explore:
- What meaning does tradition this still hold?
- How might that come alive again?
- Have needs and meanings changed?
- If so, how might the tradition respond to reflect those changes?
If you feel a new tradition would support your new circumstances, you may wish to explore:
- In what way(s) is this new circumstance meaningful or special?
- How might that be honored?
- What elements might be included in this new tradition, ie, food, fun, travel, story-telling, lighting a fire, etc
We welcome your stories about the place of traditions in your lives.
Leave your comments, below, or write us at firstname.lastname@example.org.