Keep the Beltane Fires Burning!

Alexander Mikhaylov


Traditional Beltane Fire Festival celebrating the beginning of Summer, in Edinburgh. The procession, which celebrates the ending of winter, is a revival of the ancient Celtic festival of Beltane, the Gaelic name for the month of May

It appears sometimes that the Finns view a calendar year exclusively in terms of the important holidays. A man lives merely to celebrate one big holiday that doesn’t happen often. Once the celebration is over he simply waits for another one to come. For example, there is such a big event as Christmas. When it has passed, one patiently awaits the Vappu which is the first day of May. Followed by the Midsummer Eve (22/23d of June), and after that there are just six more months until Christmas and the New Year.

And so on.…The time in between is simply an insignificant period that separates one important milestone from another.

Of course, it’s an exaggeration but still, while living in Finland, one often hears something like ‘Oh! It is only eight weeks till the Vappu!’, or Christmas, or the Midsummer eve. To some extent the Finnish holidays might be regarded as a powerful example of traditional European holidays that have continued down through centuries. Vappu, for example, is a celebration of the beginning of Spring, a celebration of nature and the very essence of life and the power of fertility as it awakens from long winter sleep. Indeed, traditions to celebrate the Midsummer Eve, as well as Vappu go back to the pagan times. These and many other holidays celebrated throughout Europe all have the pagan roots (although, in such cases as Walpurgis night — and Vappu is pretty much like that – the issue of its origins, Christian and pagan alike, has grown more complex as time goes on). All in all, these celebrations have a long history in Europe, and they are inseparable from its roots and its culture.

These days, traditional celebrations are especially important for the preservation of European cultures and identities which are under attack in all nations of the West. And beyond particular European cultures, such as Finnish culture, there must be something that manifests itself through our common perception of the world and unites us as White Europeans and makes us distinct group. In this regard, holidays or the very idea of traditional holidays and celebration is something that we all more or less share.

It is not surprising however that modern totalitarian liberalism and all the agents of multiculturalism have taken such pains trying to destroy all the major elements of traditional White culture – its family institutions and its traditions. Its very roots. It is easy to manipulate a nation when its constituent ethnic group has had its sense of history diluted with pseudo-historical accounts designed to undermine its collective confidence—its collective cultural memory distorted or erased altogether.  It is indeed an easy job to influence a man whose sense of belonging and national identity have been damaged beyond repair.

It is not only a lack of knowledge of his history and cultural heritage or a silly belief in their irrelevance that plagues modern Western man, but the very sense of his cultural worthlessness that turns him into a spiritual Frankenstein – a creature concocted out of bits of worthless, artificial and dead matter. After being constantly fed with the mind-numbing propaganda of multiculturalism, we are forced to conclude that our heritage and our national culture is a true handicap because it prevents us from appreciating and consequently assimilating ourselves within a crazy mash of different cultures.

Thus, a strong sense of one’s own cultural heritage is the only real and workable antidote to the poisonous influence of multiculturalism.

Still, one must acknowledge the stubbornness of some White Europeans in keeping their heritage and culture. In fact, people try to deal with onslaught of totalitarian internationalism in many different ways and they often succeed. The Czechs and their national traditions are just one such example. Even though they suffered from Marxism-Leninism and everything that ideology could bring them, the Czechs proved to be stubborn enough to withstand the ‘deconstruction’ of their national character and traditions.

Here, I am talking about holidays and celebrations in particular. Along with every other country of the former communist Eastern Europe, they had been forced to hail the first day of May as the “Day of Internationalism and Worker’s Unity.” I cannot say how they had played their ‘official’ part in bygone days but they eventually came up with quite different celebration. Nowadays, the first May bears quite a different connotation. It continues the tradition in which young couples gather under blossoming apple or cherry trees. The idea is to sit under the blossoms, kissing and exchanging vows, a tradition influenced by a famous 19th-century Czech romantic poet, Karel Hynek Mácha. Thus, a commemoration of the poet and his work gradually became a tradition that exists in its own right.) These days, the first day of May has become a folk tradition of renewal of the promise of love.

This is how traditions are being renewed or even created from scratch.  In addition, I would like to mention another, perhaps less striking but even more important Czech tradition and integral part of their culture — beer.

Beer drinking has been a part of Czech culture through the centuries, and in the Czech Republic a drinking beer is not simply an alcoholic beverage — it is an institution. Beer gardens and pubs — with their original atmosphere, their excellent beer and accompanying traditions, such as special food and drinking songs with their intense camaraderie, not to mention the way the Czechs consume beer — survived the Soviet invasion and nearly a half century of communism. Traditional pubs managed to survive.

Socializing with beer, in Prague

(Sadly enough, this honorable Czech institution surrounding beer is undergoing yet another assault – this time by those who decided to ‘multiculturalize’ it or to  submerge it in the fast food culture imported from America. There are fewer traditional pubs than five years ago, and there is a growing tendency emanating from some official quarters to treat beer drinking as a dangerous dependency that leads to alcoholism).

Speaking of the latter, it is yet another sad sign of our times. Unlike drugs (which had been virtually unknown in Europe prior to their export from Asia and Americas), alcohol, especially wine (a gift to humanity from the gods, as the Ancient Greeks put it) has been an essentially European tradition. Whereas drug consumption is basically alien to the European temperament and constitution, alcohol has been a natural and integral part of Western culture that has always agreed with any normal, well-balanced man.

All the assaults on it are relatively recent inventions. It is no wonder that modern cultural Marxist-Internationalists attack it with such force, since wine is a common aspect of traditional socializing in European societies. Unlike drugs, wine as an aspect of traditional socializing doesn’t destroy people, turn them into wrecks, or lead to the deaths of thousands of young people. Unlike the illicit trade in cocaine and other narcotics, fantastic riches cannot be made on wine. The wine drinker (or beer drinker, for that matter) is not a type of person who would go and ‘start a revolution’ for a sake of minorities or internationalism. Quite the opposite.

You cannot influence him easily for he is basically a happy fellow who is content with himself, who loves his food and his leisure, who values good old traditions and who definitely prefers the company of his friends to that of some stoned ‘comrades’. He is not easily cajoled or steered into revolutionary action—possibly a defect in an age when revolution against regnant multiculturalism is definitely in order. Brought up to appreciate and handle good drink correctly, he is neither prone to poisoning nor to madness. That is why teaching one’s own child how to handle alcohol has become a crime punishable  by law. Don’t teach your kids any traditions!

There is another aspect of traditional values that become extremely vague and distorted these days. I am talking about traditions of European charity.

I guess, not many people nowadays realize that the very concept of charitable action towards stranger originates in Northern Europe. It had been a good tradition for centuries to let a stranger sleep in your house (or at least in your barn). You simply could not turn a stranger away in wintertime for you knew that by doing so you were signing his death warrant. Thus, a tradition of letting a stranger spend a night under your roof had been common in all the regions of Scandinavia and Northern Russia.

Of course, the present day rationalized explanation of every cultural phenomenon tells us that this tradition was largely an adaptation to the harsh climate and that factor supposedly helped to shape such an outlook. But I think that the roots of this practice are much deeper than that. Harsh climate or indeed harsh living conditions are not limited to the Northern hemisphere, but the idea of a charitable obligation toward strangers is very much unique to the West. It is interesting to note that despite multiculturalism with its social alienation and mutual mistrust, a certain feeling of responsibility for welfare of a stranger is still alive in the mind of the Western man. Unfortunately, Western traditions of communal welfare that had resulted in creation of the welfare state societies also brought into existence horrendous abuses and further disenchantment with traditional ideas of charity and mutual help.

Here, I must add that the very idea of the welfare society, no matter how it had been envisioned originally, did not escape later onslaught of Marxism ideology. A new brand of ‘enlightened’ or ‘humane’ socialism began to create new type of Western man — a man without a sense of traditions or responsibility. ‘Why bother with charity if the State already takes care of the poor?’ ‘It is the responsibility of the State, not mine.’

This type of thinking now common in all present day Social Welfare states in the West. Nevertheless, it might be still considered pretty mild compared to the outlook found under true totalitarian regimes. The former Soviet Union with its heterogeneous and artificially created multicultural population managed to destroy nearly all folk traditions and national roots. And those it had not succeeded in destroying completely it turned into mongrelized commercial version of the original.

To conclude, I would like to return again to the Finnish tradition of celebrating Vappu and Midsummer. As I noted, these holidays still retain their pagan roots. I find this fact very significant. It would be plainly näive to proselytize a New Paganism or indeed anything resembling a spiritual revival of the old days. In my mind, these traditions have always been intertwined with folk epics, folk tales and legends that carry much of cultural heritage. Take an ancient Karelian epic ‘Kalevala’ or Nordic legends, or even later simple folk tales. The world, born out of the Golden Egg, affairs of Aryan Gods, heroes and explorers of ancient times… not to mention the fact that these tales speak of the mysteries of our Aryan world creation. They portray true heroes, men of action and honor. What a sharp contrast with the Arabic folk tales for example, such as stories of Hodja Nasreddin that celebrate the wit of a con artist, or thousands of Chinese folk ghost stories. But in our present day Western societies, parents do not tell their children folk tales at bedtime because they don’t know them and they hardly care.

On the other hand, there is indeed something that lies at the very core of the Western man that is still alive and active and which manifests itself through a variety of ways and traditions. How is it that we find a fire so fascinating? There is a continued fascination with personal heroism, honor, and altruism; with sense of fairness, with deep belief in what is right and what is wrong, and also a deep belief in personal merit.

These feelings, beliefs and convictions haven’t been lost to us or erased in us completely despite all attempts to do otherwise. It is indeed like Beltane festivals that keep springing up. Well then, let us keep our Beltane fires burning!

 

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