01 May is associated with Irish (Celtic) festival of Bealtaine (pronounced approximately – b-yowl-tin-a). It’s a celebration of the coming Summer season and a hoping for a good harvest from the fields some months hence. It’s also a time when you must be careful of the dastardly activities of the fairies, who are up to no good at this time. You must take measures to protect your home, your children and your herd of cows, lest they come to some harm.
From a W.B. Yeats poem:
Come away, O human child! To the waters and the wild With a faery, hand in hand. For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.
So be careful of the pishogues tonight, throw a few primrose flowers inside your front & back doors to keep the bad fairies out, drive your herd of cows between two fires to keep the milk pure and prevent the cows milk drying up completely. But only on this night.
The Summer Solstice festival in MB’s HX homeland is nigh and MB is homeward bound.
Mid next week MB will be on a plane heading to the furthermost point in western Europe and will be in the thick of the HX festival action. Lots of events to whet the appetite including: a night time lake shore planet & star gazing event organised by a local astronomy group, sunrise at the stone circle on solstice morning (circa 5am), charity solstice sunrise cycle from Limerick city to the HX lake front, the ‘long walk for a long day’ event which will involve a 3 hour walk around the hills and farm land surrounding the lake area on solstice evening, and much much more. MB is like a kid waiting for Santa!
The Challenge this week – to link two photos that ‘speak’ to each other. Tricky!
Anyway here goes. From MB’s Sudan trip last week – Two Western ladies, wearing fashionable designer labels, meet a dreadlock-haired Sufi Muslim man in Khartoum. Moments later the Sufi man is dancing with fellow Sufis, all wearing cloths that date back a thousand years, and some!