The Fires of Montelago
At the center was the fire. Smoky odours spread all around, hissing away from the burning stumps of sorb. The sooty haze was charged with the scent of wild boar. Sacrificial victims had been roasted and the purification banquet would begin soon.
At the center was the fire, the Sun on earth. Bright, ablaze, healer. Beasts and men went through it to heal their ills, burning away maladies and curses. Ashes were scattered in the fields and on the hips of women, stimulating their fertility. Flames forged the frames of the Celts gathered here. At the end of the ceremony, each one would leave carrying a scorched branch, their own Sun, a hearth for the home.
The fire was the center, its crackling snapping like fingers to mark the rhythm of the encircling dances. Bards intoned ancient verses and Druids, somewhat removed, recited arcane formulas in whispers. Beers intoxicated their minds, blurred with spirit. Demons and gods thus made their appearance in the night illuminated by flames and the moon. Beltain, Lugnasad, Shamain: from the fire emanated all the sacred ills of the world, redeeming them.
The Fire Circle | Friday 23:50 - Avalon Arena-
Montelago has always been a land of fire, where men drowse, revive, recount tales around the bonfire. The lights go off, the flames are lit. Starting this year, we’d like to give more space to the night Sun, making it a call to arms. With The Fire Circle there will be, for the first time, a space dedicated to every stoker, juggler, Balrog and kerosene druid of the world. During the night from Friday into Saturday, a collective performance will illuminate the alpine plains to the rhythm of the bagpipes. Participation is open to all. If you want to take part, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Lighting of the Sacred Fire | Saturday 21:00
The Celtic Night on Saturday, 5th August begins with the tradition of the Lighting of the Sacred Fire, the symbolic Festival rite that ferries us beyond the limits of the day in the warmth of the first bonfire. The rite of lighting the sacred fire derives from the culture of the ancient Celts: on the night marking the end of the hot season and the beginning of darkness and cold – 31st October- 1st November – the Celts believed that all laws of space and time were suspended and the world of spirits could thus join the world of the living. To remove evil spirits from the villages, every hearth was extinguished. It was then up to the Druids to light the New Fire on the top of a hill amidst the oaks (a tree considered sacred), where they danced and sang around the fire until dawn, when the transition from the sunny season to that of darkness was complete. The Druids then went to the village families giving each of them glowing coals from the New Fire to re-ignite the hearth in a sign of hope and return to life.