mandag 27. desember 2010

Blot og bedring - tapt kapittel fra Herodot

Julen blir ikke helt den samme uten den niatirbianske forfatteren C.S. Lewis, som for noen juler siden oppdaget et ukjent skrift av den greske historikeren Herodot (484-425, ofte kalt historiens far.

Vi sakser fra delen som handler om øyboernes tradisjon med Exmas-kort.
These islanders, surpassing all the men of whom we know in patience and endurance, use the following customs.

In the middle of winter when fogs and rains most abound they have a great festival which they call Exmas, and for fifty days they prepare for it in the fashion I shall describe. First of all, every citizen is obliged to send to each of his friends and relations a square piece of hard paper stamped with a picture, which in their speech is called an Exmas-card.
But the pictures represent birds sitting on branches, or trees with a dark green prickly leaf, or else men in such garments as the Niatirbians believe that their ancestors wore two hundred years ago riding in coaches such as their ancestors used, or houses with snow on their roofs.  
And the Niatirbians are unwilling to say what these pictures have to do with the festival, guarding (as I suppose) some sacred mystery. And because all men must send these cards the market-place is filled with the crowd of those buying them, so that there is great labour and weariness.

But having bought as many as they suppose to be sufficient, they return to their houses and find there the like cards which others have sent to them. And when they find cards from any to whom they also have sent cards, they throw them away and give thanks to the gods that this labour at least is over for another year.
But when they find cards from any to whom they have not sent, then they beat their breasts and wail and utter curses against the sender; and, having sufficiently lamented their misfortune, they put on their boots again and go out into the fog and rain and buy a card for him also. And let this account suffice about Exmas-cards.
En av grunnene til at vi aldri sender noe før lille juleaften.

2 kommentarer :

Peter sa...

Merry Crissmas.

Bjørn Are sa...

Thanks! Much prefer it to Exmas.