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Posted by spiceloft on June 25, 2001 at 22:10:14:

In Reply to: Re: BONFIRES posted by RedAdair on June 25, 2001 at 20:01:21:

There was a big one organised by John Kelly and others at the old entrance to Simmses, opposite vet Ryans. Raffles were organised to fund the grub. The Kingdom used to have loads of bonfires on the night but there are less now. In pagan times, they were a symbol of light in a gesture of defiance to the shortening day. They were also symbolic of fertility and young people used to leap over the flames to increase their fertility. Obviously, the Kery fires were not as high as the one at Simeses. (Is that the correct spelling of the name?) The ashes of the fire were scattered on the soil to improve the crops nearing harvest.
The fire that St Patrick lit as a Paschal fire was also rooted in druidic times. May in Irish is Bealtaine, Beal Tine, the fire of Beal. Beal was a little known Celtic deity. very possibly connected to Ball or Belzebub.

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