Sunday was the Day of Chewing Onions for Bast. All I really knew about the festival going into it was that back in Ancient Egypt, red onions would be grilled and eaten in honor of Bast. But why onions? Why red onions? One of my fellow Kemetics suggested that an onion’s shape could compared to the sun, and that the red onion’s color could represent a rising sun or setting sun specifically. I wasn't able to find much info beyond that, but whether or not that was the case, the symbolism of the sun is certainly fitting for a solar goddess like Bast.
Yes, I know that eating onions doesn’t sound all that exciting. But at that point, I hadn't celebrated a Kemetic holiday before, and I was eager to change that. There's also the fact that Bast is a deity I’ve long admired, and so far the Netjeru I work most closely with, so it seemed like the perfect festival to start with. If nothing else, the Day of Chewing Onions would be a good excuse to perform a special ceremony for her.
I had originally planned on celebrating the day alone, but decided that it would be more festive if I shared the experience with some of my closest friends. We gathered at a friend’s house, where I set up a temporary shrine, prepared some tasty food for everyone to share, and roasted some onions. When everything was ready, the ceremony began; the candle and incense were lit, and a little feast for Bast was offered.
|Offerings for Bast: Roasted red onions (obviously), bruschetta, hummus with a pita and carrot, trail mix, an orange, a chocolate cookie, water, mead, and rum.|
I offer to Bast, Eye of Ra.
All life emanates from you,
all health emanates from you,
all stability emanates from you,
all good fortune emanates from you,
O Lady of Perfumes, Bast, forever.
I was more nervous about performing the ceremony than I should have been, but this was the first Kemetic ceremony I had ever performed for anyone other than myself and the gods. Luckily, everything seemed to go well. After we were done stuffing our faces, my friends and I topped off the festive day with several games of laser tag.
I can honestly say that was the best Day of Chewing Onions for Bast I have ever celebrated!
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