Posted: April 22, 2008
Updated: April 29 - Photo Gallery
Pangynaskeia, a word loosely defined as "cultivating the total world of women--physical, intellectual, and moral," was one of the names that Mary Lyon was considering for her new seminary before the name "Mount Holyoke" won out. In 1979, Pangynaskeia (now commonly called "Pangy Day") debuted as a Mount Holyoke College tradition celebrating this "total world of women."
This year the Green Partners have teamed up with dining services, the dean of students office, and the Pagan Wiccan Collective to make this event a celebration of the Earth and the onset of spring at MHC. On Friday, April 25, the Pangy Day Community Festival will run from 11:30 am to 7 pm, with an all-campus picnic at Pageant Green from 11:30 am to 1:15 pm, May Pole festivities on Skinner Green at 1 pm, and an evening concert on the Blanchard steps at 5 pm. Everyone is invited to be part of this daylong festival consisting of music, dance, ice cream, and more.
The Pagan Wiccan Collective (PWC), a student-led organization with Earth-centered values, has been the keeper of the tradition of the May Pole at MHC. The PWC shares a deep respect for the Earth, and nature is often a primary source of inspiration. During the Pangy picnic the group will offer flowers to the crowd in the spirit of May Day, encouraging everyone to join the May Pole.
"I'm hoping that this year will be a true reclamation of this MHC tradition," said Ruby Maddox-Fisher, program coordinator for the Center for the Environment. "We want all students--and the MHC community--to feel welcome and inspired to make Pangy Day special in their own way."
The MHC Green Partners are hoping to make this the "greenest" Pangy Day in the College's history. The Green Partners (consisting of the Center for the Environment, the Environmental Health and Safety Office, the Environmental Stewardship Group, the Environmental Action Coalition, the Five College Recycling and Energy Group, and the Botanic Garden) offer many opportunities for students to get involved in environmental issues on campus.
All Pangy Day events are free, open to the public, and wheelchair accessible. Rain plans will move the May Pole and most activities into Chapin Auditorium; a few will be moved to Blanchard Campus Center. The picnic will be canceled in the event of rain.
This event is sponsored by the Pagan Wiccan Collective, the MHC Green Partners, the Office of the Dean of Students, and the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life.