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Mother of the night

Today is Modraniht or the Night of the Mother, an festival held by the Anglo-Saxon pagans. Bede talks about this in his 8th century work De Temporum Ratione,  “began the year on the 8th kalends of January [25 December], when we celebrate the birth of the Lord. That very night, which we hold so sacred, they used to call by the heathen word Modranecht, that is, “mother’s night”, because (we suspect) of the ceremonies they enacted all that night.” There seems to be connections with other Germanic festivals of this time including Yule and those involving Disir, the collective female being. There are links with Modra (Mothers) with Germanic Matres and Matrones. This is just another example of the celebration of the divine female in Germanic winter festivals.

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