"So ever the king had a custom that at the feast of Pentecost in especial, afore other feasts in the year, he would not go that day to meat until he had heard or seen of a great marvel. And for that custom all manner of strange adventures came before Arthur as at that feast before all other feasts..."
Sir Thomas Malory - Le Morte d'Arthur Book 7
"Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government."
Dennis the Peasant
From the time I first read Malory in high school, I wondered how Arthur ever got anything done. Sitting around waiting for a wonder isn't all that conducive to setting policy, keeping the roads clear between Londinium and Eboracum, or making sure the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes aren't prematurely importing their verbiage. (More about that on a subsequent post. Sufficeth to say that when Myrddyn says to speak in plain English, it's a bit of an anachronism. Of course anachronism is a major part of the Arthurian stories. More later, like I said.) It is, however, a convenient device for beginning a tale, not too distant from "Once upon a time.." Not all of the stories of Arthur's knights begin this way. The Arthurian romances are the descendants of Celtic tales, and many of them still have a distinct Celtic flavor. The hero pursues an animal (often a white one) into a world of enchantment and there finds adventure. Generally, in the Celtic stories, the hero isn't necessarily looking for adventure. Our knights are though - and Calogrenant certainly is.
Pentacost, by the way, is the fiftieth day after Easter, marking descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Twelve Apostles, as described in Acts 2:1–31.