One quite signficant thing I had blissfully forgotten when I wrote the Michaelmas post last week — forgotten, despite having come across the phenomenon many times: here in Sweden, Michaelmas is no longer called Michaelmas. It’s not even enough to ameliorate the impression of the pious word (on the mind of the ordinary materialist?) by adding, mendaciously, that it’s really just an Autumn or harvest festival and certainly not a religious festival. No, it is no longer spoken of as Michaelmas at all.
The novel concept to be used is “dragon play” or “dragon playing”.* The entire festival appears to be called “dragon play” these days. As if it were suddenly a game with no meaning or purpose at all. Bereft of all ties to a worldview.
If this cowardly change of terms also colours the experience, then the experience is rendered effectively meaningless, possibly even pointless. Which, if so, is perhaps all for the best — it all depends on perspective, I suppose. But if it doesn’t, it appears to me a superficial adaptation aimed to suit those who feel better about hypocrisy than about the explicit presence of something with a slight whiff of religion to it, a whiff which is conveniently left unexplained.
* “Draklek”, which means, if you know Swedish, “play” as in children’s play in this case, not as in a drama production.