Wednesday, January 6, 2010

12th Night - end of misrule


So the Daft Days are over for another year. All our reuseable decorations are stowed safely in the loft and the greenery that we brought in a few weeks ago has been burnt with due ceremony on tonight's fire. If holly remains in the house after Twelfth Night then it turns into hobgloblins who will taunt you for the coming year. (I read this somewhere when I was young and it has stayed with me ever since.)

This burning of the green is our own family custom,  but fire rituals at this time of year are an age old tradition. Next week there will be a fire ceremony - The Burning of the Clavie in Burghhead, Moray next week, on the eve of the Old New Year.  At the end of the month, Shetland celebrates Up Helly Aa, where a Viking longship is burnt after much processing and celebrating.around Lerwick. For us, now though, it means the end of that twelve day pause between breaths and we can begin anew.

5 comments:

Peggy said...

My mother wrote a little piece about Christmas for my last family newsletter, and said that when they were little they wrote letters to Santa Claus and then put them in the stove. She didn't know the significance but figured it was just the magic of Santa.

Pippa said...

I like that tradition. I think there needs to be a marking point between the years, something that says "Past gone" and makes way for new things. I love hearing and learning about old traditions.

desertnutmeg said...

i love the photos you take of your fires. i think there is some primitive "thing" left over, deep in our brain that makes fire still so fascinating.
When i see your photos, i think, i should take some of my fires and then i get to the "chore" of the fire and forget all about it. lol!

anyway. . . i too did some fire rituals this year for the first time in a long time.
Thanks for sharing yours with us-love the hobgoblin legend and it is duly recorded in the 2010 meditation diary!

Kristine said...

I loved reading about this. thank you for sharing it...I would LOVE to burn all my Christmas decorations right now...it would keep me from having to store them all year...haha.

back to work.

Kristine

Laura said...

beautiful photos, happy new year!

Laura xx