May 9, Fire Man, Valla Rural

May 9, Fire Man, Valla Rural

Not exactly Burning Man, but Wyn has resurrected an old family (Irish) tradition so it’s not the burning of a guy (Guy Fawkes) – and combined with a BBQ, a magical night sky, friends, Wyn’s excellent 2011 vintage mead and even dancing.

Fire man in flames 9 May
Fire man in flames 9 May

Samhain (pronounced Sah-ween). It was the biggest and most significant holiday of the Celtic year. The Celts believed that at the time of Samhain, more so than any other time of the year, the ghosts of the dead were able to mingle with the living, because at Samhain the souls of those who had died during the year traveled into the otherworld. People gathered to sacrifice animals, fruits, and vegetables. They also lit bonfires in honor of the dead, to aid them on their journey, and to keep them away from the living. On that day all manner of beings were abroad: ghosts, fairies, and demons–all part of the dark and dread. (Jack Santino, History)

Halloween is a descendent of “Samhain;” meaning Summer’s End. Samhain was the first day of winter, when the night became longer than the day. It is balanced by Beltane  which signals the start of summer, 6 months later.

It’s said that In ancient days all the fires of Ireland were extinguished and relighted from the one great fire kindled by the chief Druid on the hill of Tlachtga. Each family would send someone to light a torches and bring it back to rekindle their hearth fires, which were kept burning the rest of the year.




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