: december 2003

A happy new year .
  December 2003: the whistle of the month
	  Bonne année
L max: 9,1 cm; H max: 8,5 cm; D max: 4,1 cm
Private col.
The leaves of the trees fell. In the forest, only the green of the fir trees, mistletoe and moss remind the summer days. The sun is low on the horizon. It is the winter solstice when many old traditions used clay whistles.

In Europe, from Spain to Czechoslovakia, midnight masses are quoted where the children blew in bird whistles. The origin of this custom is unknown but the Midnight Mass appeared in the middle of the 5th century in a Europe still marked with paganism and it is normal to find in Christmas time many pre-Christian traditions celebrated for the winter solstice.

Europe and the Indo-European world are deeply marked by the symbolism of the bird. The bird whistles can be found in a large area from the valley of Indus to Spain.

The bird is the symbol of the souls flying away towards heaven in the pre-Christian religions in Europe. The bird whistles include many other symbols related to the rebirth. The sound of the globular whistle recalls the cuckoo and its song celebrating the return of spring.

The rooster is another widespread shape for the European whistles. Its symbolism is very homogeneous in Europe. It recalls the sun with its song announcing the return of the day and drives out the night spirits.

It symbolizes the light, the firmness and the vigilance. In the antique Greece, it was Apollo's and his son Asclépios or Esculapes' attribute. There too, Esculape's rooster is also charged with therapeutic capacities and symbolism related with death and resurrection.

Of course, in Christianity, the rooster is a representation for the Christ as a symbol of light and resurrection.

It is thus normal to find the rooster in the center of the carnival traditions, which took place at the end of December in the former time.

  Birds, roosters, all these whistles bring us back to the rebirth of the light. But, today, forget ethnology, musicology or archaeology. Only take a whistle and blow inside to call the return of spring and the rebirth of nature.
While thus whistling, you will make like many men since millenia: calling for light during the winter time.