What is this Winter Finding?
Well, as all the celebrations taken in the months where Autumn begins till the time it ends, most of it is about the preparations of the coming winter, be that praying to the gods and spirits for the good year of harvest and a better one after the winter is gone, or honoring the ancestors and land spirits, or asking for the strength to survive winter and live through that to see an other spring. But the main objective, without talking about the spiritual and religious matter, is the preparations that are made in these times, for the coming of the harsh winter and deadly cold. So this is what Winter Finding is all about, because winter wasn’t an easy passing season and was harder to survive to it than nowadays. Winter was a time of trial, the need to have enough wood chopped or coal dug for heat, a time when the pigs were killed and their meat was salted as in means to conserve it, after an entire year taking care of them, giving food so they can be fat enough to give a lot of meat for the entire winter, this seems very cruel, but in these times supermarkets didn’t exist, the people lived out by their hard work every day, cultivating the soils and harvesting. At winter, the soils were covered in snow, no one could plant anything because nature it self died, everything went into a dark atmosphere, and the snow, ice and frost ceased the growth of plants, vegetables and fruits. So before winter was at hand, the fish needed to be dried, smoked the meat, hid it in the ground, safe from deterioration, dried the fruits and catch enough root vegetables. This is also the begining of the hunting season, making the traps, bows and arrows prepared, traning the aim, knowing the forest and the wilderness, each corner and hideout, be cunning, think like an animal and also understand their behaviour, dig the snow for mushrooms and other roots, the trial for every living creature, a time to develop skills, intelligence and the senses.
At this celebration, we need to remember our ancestors, and the strength of mind and soul, the will to survive and keep the families safe, it is because of them and the battles they won agaisnst the powers of nature, that we are still here, we owe them that, the least we can do is to honor them, by becoming men and women of great strength of mind, independent, wise, cunning, righteous, hardworking, proud, honorable, faithful to our families, friends, convictions, beliefs and true to ourselves, honest, respectable and to respect nature and others thoughts, always knowning that we are bound to nature and its laws, we aren’t above of it, learning how to live with it.