Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Friday, July 23, 2010

July 24 Celebrations -- Not to be Confused with the 24th of July

I really would like to blog today, but I'm in charge of a big community celebration tomorrow. Despite working almost fulltime on this for the past week, I still have bonnets to make, banners to paint, pies to bake, people to call, chuckwagons to park, and please-don't-let-it-rain-from-5-to-7PM-prayers to say. (Thank goodness we don't have a flotilla of floats like some people!)

I must admit I got up this morning feeling kinda sorry for myself and wondering if I would have still joined the LDS Church if somebody had told me about treks and girls camp and Pioneer Days. Then I realized my fate could have been worse: I had an aunt who wanted me to become Catholic.

As "everybody" (outside of Utah) knows, July 24 is more than The 24th of July. It is the worldwide Feast Day for sometime-saint Christina the Astonishing. After perusing her life story on Wikipedia, I can't help but imagine the kind of games I might have had to come up with if we were honoring her instead of Brigham Young.

The girl was born in Belgium around 1150. She "died" at fifteen, but then rose back up at her funeral. And I do mean she rose up -- as in all the way to the rafters. (She later explained that she went as far as she did because she couldn't stand the stink of sinful people.) She went on to live an . . . um . . . eventful (?) life. Wikipedia says:

As chronicled by her contemporaries, she threw herself into burning furnaces and there suffered great tortures for extended time uttering frightful cries, yet coming forth with no sign of burning upon her. In winter she would plunge into the frozen Meuse River for hours and days and weeks at a time all the while praying to God and imploring His Mercy. She would hop around on one leg exclaiming "Look upon me O Lord, for I am like unto a flamingo." She allowed herself to be carried by the currents down river to the mill where the wheel "whirled her round in a manner frightful to behold" yet she had no dislocations or broken bones. She was chased by dogs that bit and tore her flesh. She ran from them into thickets of thorns, and though covered in blood, she would return with no wound or scar.

Imagining the activities at Christina's Feast Day makes my three-legged races and tug-of-war sound dull, huh? (And think what Jeff could come up with!) So, even though sackcloth is bound to be easier to make than bonnets, I guess I'm glad to be a Mormon -- even on the 24th of July.

So, what is everybody else doing this weekend? Respond before Sunday night and I'll enter you in a drawing for a bonnet . . . or a fruit pie (the kind from Hostess) . . . or a potato sack . . . your choice. You know what? I even have a pink plastic flamingo if your tastes run more toward the feast day . . .


At 7/23/2010 12:59 PM, Blogger T said...

I'm thinking that your 3 legged race works for both holidays, given the flamingo thing... which is truly odd by the way.

Growing up outside of Utah I remember going to the amusement park for LDS days... it was YEARS later I realized that we were supposed to be celebrating the pioneers while getting sick on the tilt a whirl.

At 7/23/2010 1:08 PM, Blogger Valerie Ipson said...

Thanks for the laugh this morning!

I'll be celebrating Pioneer Day with the Spanish branch that my husband serves in. They planned an activity for Saturday not realizing it was the 24th or even knowing exactly what the 24th means. Now I have been asked to give a talk on pioneers at the activity.

At 7/23/2010 1:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our stake will be celebrating the 24th at our only water park. Gone are the days of handcart races, or dressing up like pioneers, but we still like to get together and eat tri-tip and pie.


At 7/23/2010 3:23 PM, Blogger Jon Spell said...

I'm going to celebrate Pioneer Day on Saturday by doing a near authentic re-creation of a fabled pastime.

You may not have heard about this. On their way West to Utah, the kids would be sent around in the evening to pick up all of the tin pie plates that everyone ate dinner from. Of course, they made a game out of it, flinging the plates (upside down) into a gathering basket to be washed.

I'll be honoring that tradition by playing a round of disc golf in American Fork with a friend of mine.

At 7/23/2010 5:26 PM, Blogger Charlie Moore said...


I live in northern Utah (what the locals call southeast Idaho) so we're familiar with the traditional festivities. Alas, I have to work so won't be participating. Of course, the Blue Angels performing in Idaho Falls this weekend will almost certainly pull away some of the faithful. But, I've already been there, done that.

Best of luck with all your pioneer day celebration chores and the celebration (of course.)


At 7/23/2010 8:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We chose to whiff all the celebrations and take the family camping instead. Cooler, less crowded, and more fun!
...Not forgetting the ancestors entirely - what better way to remember them, than roughing it in the woods? (Well, if you call a 5th wheel trailer roughing it!)



Post a Comment

<< Home