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Festivalsn June

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Great Wyrm
Great Wyrm

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:20 pm    Post subject: Festivalsn June Reply with quote

Midsummer Eve is a ceremony where people engage in a candle light procession chanting this riddle: Green is Gold, Fire is Wet, Future?s Told, Dragon?s Met. The answer to this riddle is, ?On Midsummer Eve!?

This holiday?s ceremonies are seldom what they seem. Even the name Midsummer is a surprise because the holiday is celebrated not in the middle of summertime, but at it?s beginning. It commemorates the summer solstice, when the sun seems to stand still and the year?s days are longest and nights shortest. Midsummer festivities honor the earth?s awakening after the winter?s sleep, as in the Mayday festival. These particular spring and summer holidays celebrate the earth?s creation of the young new leaves and grasses. These earliest greens look golden, therefore, Nature?s first green is gold.

A second hidden question in the Midsummer riddle is harder to answer. Water cannot burn, nor fire flame in water. However, Midsummer fire is wet because it is customary to float lighted candles or torches on water. These flames accompany wishes for the future. If a small candle boat safely sails from short to shore of a pond, then the wish it represents will be fulfilled. Festival fires on the waters are thought to announce desires and foretell the future.

Other Midsummer ceremonies are also diviners of destiny. One is St. John?s bread, which is not a bread at all, but a delicious sweet, dried fruit.

This holiday?s curious customs, however, are graced by a dramatic beast that has little to do with St. John. A midsummer reveler enacting the role of St. George must ?kill? a huge ?dragon?, whether is it a dragon shaped kite, or a gigantic pastry dragon subtletie.

Merrily mixing customs of ancient pagan sun worship with medieval Christian lore, Midsummer Eve is that remarkable time when Green is gold, fire is wet, fortune?s told, dragons met.

June?s end is a fine time for outdoor celebrations. Midsummer fires and water fortune tellings are more usual under the evening sky than in a hall. But when rain requires the shelter of a roof, indoor festivities can be equally vibrant. Outside a bonfire is lit and sometimes called a Beltane fire. That name refers to the Druid Fires thousands of years ago honoring the pagan god Bal.

If a bonfire outside is not possible, a candle circle on the hall floor is a fine alternative. Twenty four candles in sturdy holders are arranged in a ring with much space about them for guests to march and dance.

Everyone entering the festival space and walking from ceremony to seat always must circle the fire clockwise. This imitates the path of the sun, rising in the east and setting in the west.

Each Midsummer Eve celebrant wears a birch wreath crowning the head or a garland made of small leaved branches or a sprig of new green leaves pinned to the costume on the left side, over the heart.

Two midsummer feast necessities are diviner eggs and destiny cakes. Both are thought to show the future by shape or a sign in a food.

Every guest is given a small glass cup or bowl with an unbroken raw egg. Carefully cracking the the egg, the feaster pours it into the cup and ?reads? the shape. Does it look like a house? The family may soon move. Is it a hat? A student may soon graduate. Is it a trunk suggesting travel? Or a tree? Or a shovel? Something in the near future is thought to be discovered or divined. Then a servitor carrying a large bowl requests that each diviner egg be poured into that common bowl. Thereafter, while other courses are being served, the Chief Cook prepares almoundyn eyroun, a superb omelet with almonds, raisins, honey and spices.

This is later presented with another Midsummer divination food, destiny cakes. Prepared before hand, they are served from a platter completely covered with a decorative cloth. The feaster reaches under to select an amusingly shaped cake. Like the diviner egg, it predicts the future.
Azjah Telyria Danaan PhD
Marchioness von Triberg
Baroness von Drachen Walde
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