Saturday, February 12, 2011

February 12

February 12A day holy to Diana. 

One of the stories says that Artemis (or the Roman goddess Diana) took Hippolytus, son of Theseus, after he was brought to life again by Asclepios, and brought it to Italy, at her temple in Aricia, where he became her priest, under the name Virbius (he who lived twice).

And a curious fact: in the Romanian language, the Latin name of the Roman goddess Diana became the word “zana”, which means “fairy”. In folk tales, the fairies would usually wander through the woods, in large groups. In many tales, a young man sees the fairies bathing and steals some clothes. When they discover someone is watching, they get out of the water, get dressed and fly away. The fairy whose clothes were stolen can’t go away, so she hides behind a bush, promising to marry him if he gives her back her clothes (which have magical powers). The young man refuses and gives her other clothes, they marry and they live happily for a while, until, one day, she manages to find her fairy clothes. When she does, she can fly back to her sisters, leaving her son and her husband, who will be forever sad. Because, when someone was married to a fairy, the other women mean nothing to him any more. Not exactly Actaeon's story, but anyway, the man who saw the fairies naked is punished for this, with an eternal sadness.

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