Fete Nationale

Been away from the computer for a few days but back in time to wish everyone a great Fete Nationale.

It used to be known as Saint John The Baptist Day.

And  my favorite painter, Mai Koppel, tells me that it is also an important day for Estonians, who, somewhat surprisingly, are one of the earliest linguistically sedentary ethnicities in Europe ( how is that for some flourished wikispeak?). Jaanipäev is a national holiday of which “ritual is the lighting of the bonfire and the jumping over it. This is seen as a way of guaranteeing prosperity and avoiding bad luck. Likewise, to not light the fire is to invite the destruction of your house by fire. The fire also frightened away mischievous spirits who avoided it at all costs, thus ensuring a good harvest. So, the bigger the fire, the further the mischievous spirits stayed away.”

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