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Roodmas

Roodmas (from Old English 'rod' pr. 'rood', rood, cross, and 'mas', mass) is an ancient and obsolete English word meaning "Mass of the Cross". This festivity is associated with the Heathen festival of Beltane, the same Neopagan festivity, Walpurgis Night, May Day and witchcraft. It took place at midnight on May 1, during a time in which it was common to celebrate some masses at 12 AM (0:00 hrs), presumably in an attempt to diminish the influence of Paganism. Persecutions were common the days after the celebration of Roodmas because people who did not go to the church were considered to be Pagans first, and Satanists later, and the Christian authorities were not well disposed to tolerate non-Christian population in their territory, as History proves. During the Middle Age and Renaissance it was said that witches and warlocks celebrated a reunion called Great Sabbath on this night to honour the Devil and offend Jesus, God and all sacraments. It is true that some people confessed their participation in this Great Sabbath (under torture, for no confession was taken as valid by ecclesiastical tribunals if not given under torment), it is true that some persons practised Satanism that day, but it is also true that most accused people were Pagans who refused to accept Christianity, continuing the celebration of their ceremonies, which were turned into Satanic rites by Christian authorities.

In fiction this festivity is mentioned several times by H. P. Lovecraft in The Case of Charles Dexter Ward[?], misspelled 'Roodemas' to imitate the arbitrary orthography of the 17th and 18th Centuries, and considered, together with Hallow's eve (Halloween) the most favourable days to invoke the stronger powers of Darkness.



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