Îuoi in Îanê (Holidays in Virtue)

The Îuoi — for which Bessus Nouiogalation (BNG) has twelve — present us with an opportunity to do more than simply hold festivities, do rites, and get together. While undoubtedly they provide these things, they also present us with another kind of opportunity. That is service. The notion of holidays across the world eliciting the desire or sense of responsibility to engage in community outreach is nothing new. It is something that peoples all over the world engage in doing.

It in turn begs the question: What does that look like for us Nouiogalatîs?

We have twelve Îuoi, as was stated before. So we have compiled from that causes for each of them. Perhaps in engaging in giving and service we can all find good causes to be passionate about. Through our Bessus — in some small way — perhaps we can help make the world a better place. One might donate money, or they may donate time, volunteering. Whether big or small, there’s always something that can be done. In each of the Îuoi, there is an opportunity. They are as follows:

For Sonnocingos Nouios, as Carnonos is the Dêuos for whom the îuos is about we’re reminded of the depiction of Him on the Gundestrup Cauldron. Within which He can be seen alongside several animals. For this, the very first day of the year is dedicated to animal welfare causes. This could be for wildlife, endangered species, or humane societies, animal rescue, adoption, etc.

For Cintusamos — the îuos dedicated to Nantosueltâ and Sucellos — we are reminded of the blooming of the land and the gifts we make of it. Due to this, we recommend supporting organisations or doing direct actions that assist in care for the land.

Diios Nouiogalation is our birthday. For which our Toutatis — Galatos — and the Materês are honoured. From mothers come new life, and those the care for that new life. Due to this, the focus is on the needs of children. So organisations or actions that feed, house, clothe, or educate children are most fitting for this îuos.

On Samolitus we honour Taranis. The day particularly honours the light and fullness of summer that provides for all. In this case, the cause adopted for this is that of social justice. That the blessings of samos can be shared by all. Actions with or donations to organisations that support the needs and rights of marginalised or underserved people is ideal for Samolitus.

Trinox Samoni is specifically about Taranis’s victory against Andangianos, in our lore His archenemy. That the blessings of Samos come with His victory. Due to this, causes and actions that support those who have fought for social justice are the main focus. This can be done by contributing to bail funds for activists, or for pressuring governments to release political prisoners. Again honouring those who strive to make the world better for all and not just the few who already have almost everything.

For Cerdalitus — that is the îuos in which Gobannos is honoured — we look at His skill in forging. In this case, one who is building material things for a specific purpose. It is at this time actions or donations toward causes and organisations that build things for underserved people and communities come to the fore. An example of this is organisations who build homes for homeless people.

When Cintumessus arrives, we celebrate Lugus rescuing Rosmertâ. As it is She who grants the grain harvest, agriculture takes centre stage. So causes that support agriculture are the focus. An example of this would be organisations that teach youths about farming, or projects for community gardens. Ensuring that the fruits of harvest are accessible to all.

Catus Alisiâs is based on the all to well known event that led to the end of free Gaul. There is of course the sadness of knowing their freedom ended the way it did. In the process of that battle, there were people surrendered that the Romans refused to accept. They starved between the battle lines. As such actions and causes that provide food to those who need it is a good way to help make sure such a tragedy doesn’t happen again.

The next îuos, Cintugiamos, is about our ancestors, including of course Ogmios. In this case, we think of ancestors and their contribution to our survival. In this case, of the health of others. As such, organisations providing medical care for underserved or marginalised people, donating things like blood, plasma, etc if one can or is allowed are the main focus for this îuos.

Giamolitus falls around a time that many other holidays also do. As it is not far from but not usually on the winter solstice. The significance of this is that Giamolitus is about togetherness as many other holidays at this time are. For this reason, donations or actions related to helping those in shelters (homeless, displaced, elderly, etc) is the main focus of action on this day.

One focus of Adbiuos is that of cleaning the home of winter’s refuse. But there are other ways one might need to clean. Or “get clean”. In this case, we speak of those struggling with addiction. Direct actions or donations to orgs that help people through the difficulties of living with and freeing people from addiction is the cause adopted for this îuos.

At Uisonnalitus, we give honours to Ðironâ. One thing about Her is that She is Matir Uoberiâs (Mother of the Spring) in this case, of springs that supply water. Though for English speakers, this is also in reference to the time of year known as spring, as it is close to the vernal equinox. Water is a most precious treasure. As such, direct actions related to protecting water, or donations to organisations protecting water are the focus of Uisonnalitus.

As has been demonstrated, there are many causes here that can be championed and diverse causes that our îuoi can be used to do so. Maybe one finds a cause they are passionate about and wish to get more involved within. Or perhaps one can at least take note of the causes related to the îuoi to at least try to do something for them. The point of course is not to imply any of these causes only need attention once a year.

But that we hope that the îuoi give us a chance to remember that even in our busy lives, there are those who need help and support. It isn’t much, but in some small way, perhaps we can make the world a better place. We invite you all to join us in trying.

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