Category Archives: Book of Days Calendar

A Woodland Stroll, or Your July Book of Days

Welcome to July. Here is your Convivio Book of Days Calendar for July. It is, as usual, a printable PDF and a fine companion to this blog. Cover star this month: a mid- to late-19th century oil painting called “Summer Day in Sæby Skov with Three Young Ladies Strolling.” It’s a lovely painting with a long title by Danish artist Carl Frederik Aagaard. The trees remind me of woodland strolls in North Carolina and Maine, where the trees are so much different than they are here in Florida.

It is the month of national holidays in Canada and France and here in the US, and of many saints’ days –– Swithin, James, Ann, and Martha, to name a few –– and of the Japanese star festival known as Tanabata. In two days’ time, the Dog Days of Summer will begin, as Sirius begins rising with the sun… and there they will remain with us through the 11th of August. And even in the midst of those often hottest days of summer, the last night of July will bring the Eve of Lammas, the old but little known cross quarter day that reminds us of summer’s fleeting nature, for nothing ever stays the same in the constantly shifting wheel of the year. I’ll visit you as often as I can through this coming month, sharing stories for these days.

At the online shop, you’ll find my mom Millie as the cover star for the current HIGH FIVE SALE: Use discount code HIGH5 at checkout for $5 off your purchase of $35 or more. That’s on everything in the shop: our own letterpress printed books and broadsides, genuine Shaker herbs and teas, all of our handmade artisan goods for all the seasons. Plus free domestic shipping when you reach $60. CLICK HERE to shop, and thank you for your support!

It’s not too late to enjoy Shakespeare’s midsummer play (Seth and I are going to sit down and watch the 1999 film version tonight). A week ago, for Midsummer Night, I read an adaptation of  “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” for a new video series from the Jaffe Center for Book Arts called Stay Awake Bedtime Stories. I had fun reading the story and you may find it fun to watch. I think it’s about 20 minutes long. Please enjoy it by clicking here.


Image: “Summer Day in Sæby Skov with Three Young Ladies Strolling” by Carl Frederik Aagaard. Oil on canvas, circa mid- to late-1800s [Public domain via Wikimedia Commons].

Oberon & Titania, or Your June Book of Days

June already! It is the month of the summer solstice here in the Northern Hemisphere: Our longest days and shortest nights, the start of summer by the almanac but by traditional reckoning of time it is the month of Old Midsummer, as our days increase in length up until the solstice and then already begin their descent down again once we pass that moment. It is a magical and mystical time, if the stories are true and the poets are right. And why wouldn’t they be? We are at the polar opposite side of the year from Midwinter and its particular potent magic. Our ancestors understood this, and so did the early Church: to Midwinter they assigned the birth of Christ, and to Midsummer, the birth of his cousin, John the Baptist, the one who prepared the way. And so we have Christmas in the bleak midwinter, and this month, at the height of summer, comes St. John’s Day. And just as we have charged Christmas Eve with magic, so have we charged St. John’s Eve. It just doesn’t get as much publicity. But Shakespeare knew of this magic; hence his Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Our cover stars for your Convivio Book of Days Calendar for June are Oberon and Titania, king and queen of the fairies, in a painting by John Anster Fitzgerald. The calendar, as usual, is a printable PDF, and a fine companion to the blog (especially when I don’t have time to write to you). Click here for your June Book of Days.

A note, too, about last month’s calendar: I inadvertently listed Pentecost as happening on May 23. That was not at all true. In fact, Pentecost is just coming up in the coming days, on the Fifth of June. It’s a moveable holiday, and I completely messed it up this year. I promise to be more diligent in the future, and I am almost certain that every holiday listed on the June Book of Days is absolutely right. I do the best I can. Click here for a corrected version of the Convivio Book of Days Calendar for May.

Have a wonderful June. May some tangible aspect of Midsummer magic be yours.


May Day, and Your May Book of Days

And now here is May. Walpurgis Night on the last night of April led us into May Day and Beltane. The conclusion of the Muslim month-long celebration of Ramadan just happened to coincide this year and now it is time to shift greetings from Ramadan Mubarak! to Eid Mubarak!, for now it is Eid, the Sweet Festival. As the month progresses, there will be more and more celebrations of spring and ultimately the spring to summer, for spring is fleeting and ephemeral.

Here now is your Convivio Book of Days Calendar for the month of May. It is our gift to you, a printable PDF, and as usual, an excellent companion to the blog. Cover star this month: a 1913 painting by Iso Rae called “Rogation Day Procession in Étaples” –– and there, in Rogation Sunday, you have another of the lesser known holidays this month. It is a month that’s full of days like this, which is all the more reason to check out the calendar. Happy May! Eid Mubarak! May the month bring many blessings.

Image from our May Book of Days cover star: “Rogation Day Procession in Étaples” by Iso Rae. Oil on canvas, 1913 [Public domain via Wikimedia Commons].