Thank you for walking the path, haijin! Congratulations to last week’s winners!Haikai Challenge Participants
|3. Li/Lisa Fox W MI USA|
4. Jules #2
|5. Xenia Tran|
6. Colleen Chesebro
Wow! A #Haikai Challenge about a week after a #Haikai Challenge! May I make it a hat trick by next week!
This Monday, the United States celebrates Memorial Day:
Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Memorial Day 2021 will occur on Monday, May 31.
Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, it marks the beginning of the summer season.
Cities, towns and villages honor our fallen veterans with parades and commemorations. It is the least we can do for those that paid the ultimate sacrifice. It is also a reminder of the dearest cost of war—and an admonition for any who consider waging another.
While Memorial Day has its roots in a day of solemnity, it also marks the unofficial beginning of summer. Many of the States beaches, pools and summer amusement parks open this weekend. Here in New York’s backyard, that will prove a saturating affair, as the rain fell yesterday and this morning, with more on the way.
And yet, after every rain, there is the possibility of a rainbow:
A rainbow is caused by sunlight and atmospheric conditions. Light enters a water droplet, slowing down and bending as it goes from air to denser water. The light reflects off the inside of the droplet, separating into its component wavelengths–or colors. When light exits the droplet, it makes a rainbow.
Rainbows, of course, are not just a natural phenomena. They hold cultural meaning, both throughout history and today:
Rainbows occur frequently in mythology, and have been used in the arts. One of the earliest literary occurrences of a rainbow is in the Book of Genesis chapter 9, as part of the flood story of Noah, where it is a sign of God’s covenant to never destroy all life on Earth with a global flood again. In Norse mythology, the rainbow bridge Bifröst connects the world of men (Midgard) and the realm of the gods (Asgard). Cuchavira was the god of the rainbow for the Muisca in present-day Colombia and when the regular rains on the Bogotá savanna were over, the people thanked him offering gold, snails and small emeralds. Some forms of Tibetan Buddhism or Dzogchen reference a rainbow body. The Irish leprechaun‘s secret hiding place for his pot of gold is usually said to be at the end of the rainbow. This place is appropriately impossible to reach, because the rainbow is an optical effect which cannot be approached.
Rainbows appear in heraldry – in heraldry the rainbow proper consists of 4 bands of color (Or, Gules, Vert, Argent) with the ends resting on clouds. Generalised examples in coat of arms include those of the towns of Regen and Pfreimd, both in Bavaria, Germany; and of Bouffémont, France; and of the 69th Infantry Regiment (New York) of the Army National Guard (USA).
Rainbow flags have been used for centuries. It was a symbol of the Cooperative movement in the German Peasants’ War in the 16th century, of peace in Italy, and of gay pride and LGBT social movements since the 1970s. In 1994, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and President Nelson Mandela described newly democratic post-apartheid South Africa as the rainbow nation. The rainbow has also been used in technology product logos, including the Apple computer logo. Many political alliances spanning multiple political parties have called themselves a “Rainbow Coalition“.
Whatever their significance, the ephemeral beauty of the rainbow continues to inspire us!
This week, write the haikai poem of your choice (haiku, senryu, haibun, tanka, haiga, renga, etc.) that alludes to either Memorial Day or the rainbow (niji).
Here’s how the challenge works:
1. write the haikai poem of your choice.
2. post the link of your post to Mister Linky.
3. pingback by posting the link to the challenge on your site.
4. read and comment on other contributors’ posts.
Happy Memorial day to those of you celebrating, haijin! And remember: “See the rainbow. Taste the rainbow!”