Wednesday, 19 May 2021

Fairy Rings

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1qsXsBQFzLv9xDp9iUiQEW3VSSeIKUCgp

Fairy rings, are also known as elf circles, fairy circles, pixie rings or elf rings. They are detected by a ring of dark grass like the one in the picture; with mushrooms appearing in late summer to autumn. They grow up to 10m (33ft) in diameter, growing bigger as they get older, and some have grown as big as 365m (1200ft). They are best seen late summer to early autumn.

They are often found in forests, and there are two types of ring. Those found in forests are called ‘tethered’. They live symbiotically with trees, and those found in meadows or other places are called ‘free’ because they’re not connected with other organisms.

For thousands of years people of many cultures have regarded fairy rings with curiosity, awe, and fear; as a result they are the subject of folklore worldwide.

They have been the dwellings of witches, fairies, and elves. Many believe fairy rings are too dangerous to enter. I certainly won’t enter one! In English and Celtic folklore, fairy rings were caused by fairies or elves dancing in a circle.

Norman belief held that the beautiful appearance of fairies would be alluring to people, and if humans joined in the dance they would be punished by the fairies, and made to dance in the ring, unable to stop, until they passed out from exhaustion (or went mad). It is said that if you step inside a fairy ring you will become invisible, trapped there forever. People in Somerset called them “galley-traps” as late as the 20th century. They believed that when a man who had committed a crime passed through a fairy ring, he was doomed to hang within the year. Other folk tales warn of disease, bad luck, or an early death.

Austrian folklore implies that the rings have been burned in to the ground by the fiery tails of dragons. Dutch tradition states that the devil is to blame for creating a fairy ring; it’s somewhere to keep his milk churn. In German folklore fairy rings were once known as witches’ rings, and it was believed that they would dance there on Walpurgis Night.

Some cultures believe they are portals, sign of a fairy village underground, and good luck.

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