Sunday, December 09, 2012

The Fabulous Firebird Festival

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Some say the world will end in fire, some say in ice ... ahh, I forget the rest...

In these dark days, we automatically feel that the year is coming to an end, and a new one will begin. It's right and fitting -- and bored god-endorsed -- to turn this moment into a symbolic spectacle.

There's a town in Pennsylvania named Phoenixville. Nine years ago the enlightened citizens decided to have a Firebird Festival in honor of the Phoenix after which their town is named. They built a big bird out of wood and set it on fire, with drummers and dancers and music. They did this in December.

Now it's a tradition. If you read this little site at all, you will know that this sort of thing is right down my alley.

Here's a picture of this year's Phoenix. I would say it was 30 feet tall, maybe more. Now imagine a parade of fire dancers and drummers dancing up to it and setting it aflame. And this is not damp wood that smoulders for weeks. It's chock-a-block with accelerant and cherry bombs. It flames up fast and huge, popping and sparking ... and then in collapses into a huge bonfire with coals in every color of the rainbow. There goes 2012! And from the ash heap will rise 2013 ... so long as the Aztecs made some errors in their mathematics. (The bored deities of the Aztec pantheon have been reassuring me frequently.)

For two dollars you can write a wish and have it put in a box that is placed into the Firebird before it goes up. My daughter The Heir and I always do this. Maybe next year I'll invite you to submit wishes from afar. The alchemy consists of turning intention into energy by having your thoughts turned into flame. If you don't believe in this, what are you doing here at "The Gods Are Bored?" Go watch crime t.v. or something.

There is a very nice impromptu drum circle at this event, which gives it even more energy. Before the burning of the Phoenix, they have smaller bonfires and barrel fires and vendors of candles and food.

Some people worship quietly, alone or in small groups. My favorite form of praise and worship is loud, full of people, and dramatic. The Firebird Festival fits that bill. Fire is not my element (I'm a water gal), but the energy is so high that I could feel it in my soul.

2012 I wish I could say this was the best year of my life, but it is a year I want to put into the archives ASAP. The first step toward this end is the Phoenixville Firebird Festival. The last step is a strut at the Philadelphia Mummers Parade.

What apocalypse? The Phoenix has risen!


Debra She Who Seeks said...

Oh, the flaming firebird sounds so awesome! I can just hear the drums, the cheers, the crackling flames! What a super festival to attend -- you're so lucky!

Lori F - MN said...

My new years eve and day are traditionally spent indoors and off the roads.
But I would come out for this! Sounds wonderful. Full of great imagery. I'd even pay the $2 to put my new years wish inside.

Vest said...

Wishing you a merry Christmas.