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Fun Fact October 5, 2020.

5 October 2020

This time of year a lot of people have bonfires where friends and family gather around the dancing flames enjoying each others company and their favorite beverages and foods.  But why is it called a bonfire?  Webster’s Dictionary defines a bonfire as “a large fire built in the open air”, a word derived from the Middle English bone fire—a fire of bones.   In the time of the Celts, there were midsummer festivals where animal bones were burnt to ward off evil spirits.  Bonfires burned straw or bundles of wood.  Some bonfires were and are used in rituals to bring good luck or a bountiful harvest.  One such ritual participants would walk their cattle, a symbol of their wealth, through the smoke of the bonfire to purify them.  Not all bonfires are for celebrations or mystic rituals. Some are just to get rid of burnable waste.

Fun Fact October 5, 2020.