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Posted by Murrisk on May 01, 2001 at 02:54:47:

Beltaine or "the fire of Bel" or May. Fire cult. Two fires were kindled in this god's name on May 1 and cattle were driven between two fires to give them protection against disease. The first fires were lit at Uisneach, a hill between Mullingar and Athlone with a broad view. Other fires would have then been lit on other hills and so on to the coasts. The hill of Uisneach was believed to mark the centre of Ireland where the five provinces (cúige or cóiced)- Ulster, Leinster, Connacht, Munster (originally two & later one), and Meath - came together. The site was marked by a standing stone called Ail na Uírenn or the Stone of Divisions.

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