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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Processions   Thu 21 Sep 2017, 17:19

The post by ID re the newly discovered temple to Artemis -  probably being the final destination of a procession  -is interesting. Processions still seem to be an important part of all manner of rituals, ceremonies and events and has been so for a very long time I suppose they make people feel important - many certainly look it whilst often dressed in the oddest trappings of office. And carnvals are very important to some. What does it say of us?
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ferval
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PostSubject: Re: Processions   Thu 21 Sep 2017, 20:51

Oh P, you do raise the most intriguing topics.  Why is it that organised and directed walking in groups has always been so very important? Does it matter if only a selected number participate or everyone joins in? Is it the destination or the process that really matters? And yes, the dressing up bit seems significant. Are marathons another modern manifestation of the same phenomenon?

As it happens, I'm off to Arran for the weekend and on Saturday night I will be attending a Bronze Age festival that includes a procession to the timber circle which will later be ceremonially burned. I will be watching not processing though, draped in furs and painted appropriately, I will leave that bit to the youngsters and the  terminally attention seeking.
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Triceratops
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PostSubject: Re: Processions   Fri 22 Sep 2017, 14:50

@ferval wrote:

As it happens, I'm off to Arran for the weekend and on Saturday night I will be attending a Bronze Age festival that includes a procession to the timber circle which will later be ceremonially burned. I will be watching not processing though, draped in furs and painted appropriately, I will leave that bit to the youngsters and the  terminally attention seeking.

Mmm,



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Vizzer
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PostSubject: Re: Processions   Sat 23 Sep 2017, 15:42

@ferval wrote:
Does it matter if only a selected number participate or everyone joins in? Is it the destination or the process that really matters?

Very good questions. Sometimes there are processions to honour processions to honour processions. For example when the 7th century Chinese monk Yuan-chang returned to China after a 16-year journey through neighbouring Buddhist lands (modern day Turkestan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India) his initial reception ended in farce.

During his travels he had attempted to partially retrace the steps of another Chinese traveller Fa-shen of 250 years earlier. Yuan-chang was a sort of Michael Palin to Fa-shen’s Phileas Fogg as it were. Yuan-chang’s fame had preceded him and he was well known to the Chinese public even before his return and the subsequent official publication of his memoirs. There was, however, the small matter of the fact that his original departure from China had been illegal (i.e. without imperial permission) and a notional warrant was still out for his arrest. Fussy local magistrates on the outskirts of the western capital Chang’an seemed more concerned with this small detail and ‘not knowing the routine of polite reception and escort were unable to make the necessary preparations’.

The public, on hearing of the magistrates’ red tape pettiness, had other ideas and ‘the news spreading fast the people came together in vast numbers’ to escort Yuan-chang on the final leg of his journey. So numerous were they and the streets were so crowded that he could not advance for the crush. In the end the spontaneous triumphal procession had to be abandoned and Yuan-chang was quietly spirited into the imperial palace by a back-water barge on a service canal leaving the expectant crowds disappointed.

When the hoi-polloi had dispersed, however, the following day Yuan-chang was indeed afforded a triumphal procession but this time of the right sort. Members of ‘various monasteries conducted him with flags and banners to the convent called Hong-fu’ where he deposited the treasures he had brought back from India.
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