Fire Festivals

Fire Festivals

February 1, May 1, August 1, November 1
The bonfire has deep symbolic significance in Celtic culture and Neopagan practice. The Greater Sabbats, the four traditional festivals that mark the Cross-Quarter Days—Imbolc, Beltane, Lammas, and Samhain—are often referred to as Fire Festivals. In conjunction with the Quarter Days these four days comprise the Celtic/Neopagan cycle known as the "Wheel of the Year." A bonfire ceremony is customary on the four sabbats among observing Neopagans in the United Kingdom, the United States, and other countries where such traditions are observed.
For three of the Cross-Quarter Days, the symbolic meaning of fire has significance within a sabbat's particular context. For example, for Imbolc (February 1) the emphasis is on the daylight that believers anticipate in the coming spring season. Lighting bonfires during Beltane (May 1) is a way of honoring the sun god. During Samhain (November 1), both the heat and light of fire have great significance since both elements are lacking during the approaching winter.
Historical accounts of bonfires during Lammas are unavailable because the sabbat has only been included in modern-day fire festivals.
CONTACTS:
Pagan Federation
BM Box 7097
London WC1N 3XX United Kingdom
www.paganfed.demon.co.uk
SOURCES:
AmerBkDays-2000, p. 334
RelHolCal-2004, pp. 270, 272
References in periodicals archive ?
BONFIRES AND FIRE FESTIVALS: The use of fire to purify and drive away eviIspirits is an ancient idea and Scotland's fire festivals at Hogmanay and later in January may nave pagan or Viking origins.
From traditional fire festivals and torchlight processions to street parties with live music and fireworks, we've got it all.
So, every day, I walk the maze and its interlocking gardens whilst thinking about how best to make the Halloween treat that can take on board the high points from my past Hay on Fire Festivals and incorporate them into the idyllic site here at Penpont.
ca Warm Things Up With Top 10 Fire Festivals Around the World.
Fire festivals and bonfires are great up on the hill.
There are a number of fire festivals around the country, and we believe it may be something to do with burning out the evil of the previous year, but nobody knows for sure.
Also known as Bealtaine, or Beltane, it is the third of the four ancient fire festivals of the year.
Warm Things Up With Top 10 Fire Festivals Around the World With the clocks going back an hour this upcoming weekend, we begin the descent into shorter days, longer nights and increasing winter chill.
Of course, such would need to be followed up with the branding and packaging of Wales' strong and varied Celtic identity and I would suggest that such could be done in any number of ways such as via emphasis on our Celtic ancestry and Celtic archaeological remains and by indication of the Celtic roots of our shared history, myth and music and an initiative that would revive our ancient Celtic fire festivals of Samhain, Imbolc, Beltain and Lughnasadh.
Ranger Julian Brown will lead the Lammas walk which is one of the four ancient fire festivals of the year.
This year's Up Helly Aa in the capital Lerwick is on Tuesday, January 31 - there are another eight fire festivals in various districts of Shetland during the late winter.