Tradition – a belief or behaviour passed down within a group or society with symbolic meaning or special significance with origins in the past.
Traditions are everywhere and in every aspect of our lives. Take the current festive season for example. You couldn’t get much more of a tradition if you tried! Each 25th of December is an internationally recognised time to connect with their loved ones, a time to feast and be merry.
All the traditions we hold so dear, started somewhere. They weren’t always there –someone had to start them. The tradition of having a decorated Christmas tree in your house, for example, started in Germany in the 1500s and the idea didn’t make it to England for another 371 years!
Many of us will have our own family traditions connecting us to this festive period too. I recently heard a radio interview with a listener whose family Christmas day tradition is for Mum to set light to the Christmas pudding… and then run with it, round the dinner table 3 times! If Mum finishes the 3 laps with the pudding still alight (and she miraculously has neither set the house on fire or broken a leg (or both!)), the whole family gets to feast on the pudding. If the pudding flame goes out at any time during the 3 laps?…no pudding for anyone! Sounds slightly bonkers, but I bet there’s a whole host of other brilliant, funny and endearing traditions individual families, or even local communities, are creating for themselves too.
The tradition of holding a ceremony has its origins deep rooted in society, almost since the dawn of time. Ceremonies are often seen as a rite of passage – a way to mark and honour significant events in life and in nature. Commonly we think of ceremonies as being reserved for life events such as celebrating births and marriages and commemorating the end of a life. And quite often those ceremonies bring a whole host of individual traditions with them too.
One thing that I’ve learned from my experiences is that life is too short to follow (all) the traditions and ‘rules’! There is time and space for the traditions that we know and oftentimes love, but why not start making our own traditions, to celebrate, mark and commemorate events important to us, making it truly yours. Some of the best ceremonies I’ve been privileged to witness are those that were simple, heartfelt and ‘just right’ for the people at the centre of it. And ceremonies certainly don’t need to be confined to a wedding or funeral or for a large group of people to attend – it could be just for you, celebrating or commemorating something that is significant, special and personal to you.
Thinking about starting your own traditions and ceremony? Lets start a conversation – contact me via the socials – The Authentic Celebrant everywhere – or via the website www.theauthenticcelebrant.co.uk/getintouch . You can also sign up to the newsletter for ceremony tips, advice and ideas at www.theauthenticcelebrant.co.uk.