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the priestesses, Jastrow remarks: "Among many nations, the mysterious
aspects of woman's fertility lead to rites that, by a perversion of their
original import, appear to be obscene. The prostitutes were priestesses
attached to the Ishtar cult, and who took part in ceremonies intended to
symbolize fertility." Whether there is any significance in the fact that
the first two months of the Babylonian year (roughly corresponding to our
March and April), when we should expect births to be at a maximum, were
dedicated to Ea and Bel, who, according to varying legends, were the
creators of man, and that New Year's Day was the festival of Bau, regarded
as the mother of mankind, I cannot say, but the suggestion may be put
 _Celtic Heathendom_, p. 421.
 Grimm, _Teutonic Mythology_, p. 1465. In England, the November,
bonfires have become merged into the Guy Fawkes celebrations. In the East,
the great primitive autumn festivals seem to have fallen somewhat earlier.
In Babylonia, the seventh month (roughly corresponding to September) was
specially sacred, though nothing is known of its festivals, and this also
was the sacred festival month of the Hebrews, and originally of the Arabs.
In Europe, among the southern Slavs, the Reigen, or Kolo--wild dances by
girls, adorned with flowers, and with skirts girt high, followed by sexual
intercourse--take place in autumn, during the nights following harvest
 A. Tille, _Yule and Christmas_, p. 21, etc.
 Long before Wargentin, however, Rabelais had shown some interest in
this question, and had found that there were most christenings in October
and November, this showing, he pointed out, that the early warmth of
spring influenced the number of conceptions (_Pantagruel_, liv. v, Ch.
XXIX). The spring maximum of conceptions is not now so early in France.
 Villerme, "De la Distribution par mois des conceptions," _Annales
d'Hygiene Publique_, tome v, 1831, pp. 55-155.
 Sormani, _Giornale di Medicina Militare_, 1870.
 Throughout Europe, it may be said, marriages tend to take place
either in spring or autumn (Oettinger _Moralstatistik_, p. 181, gives
details). That is to say, that there is a tendency for marriages to take
place at the season of the great public festivals, during which sexual
intercourse was prevalent in more primitive times.
 Hill, _Nature_, July 12, 1888.
 G. Mayr, _Die Gesetzmaessigkeit im Gesellschaftsleben_, 1877, p. 240.
 Edward Smith (_Health and Disease_), who attributes this to the
lessened vitality of offspring at that season. Beukemann also states that
children born in September have most vitality.
 Westermarck has even suggested that the December maximum of
conceptions may be due to better chance of survival for September
offspring (_Human Marriage_, Chapter II). It may be noted that though the
maximum of conceptions is in May, relatively the smallest proportion of
boys is conceived at that time. (Rauber, _Der Ueberschuss an
Knabengeburten_, p. 39.)
 Krieger found that the great majority of German women investigated
by him menstruated for the first time in September, October, or November.
In America, Bowditch states that the first menstruation of country girls
more often occurs in spring than at any other season.
 _Women's Medical Journal_, 1894.
 It is, perhaps, worth while noting that the wisdom of the mediaeval
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