The Fairy Rade, or procession, was a matter of great importance. It took place on the coming in of summer, awl the peasantry, by using the precaution of placing a branch of rowan over their door, might safely gaze on the cavalcade, as with music sounding, bridles ringing, and voices mingling, it pursued its way from place to place.
Folklore states that in Ireland at night you can often see the hills inhabited by Fairies shining of a myriad of sparkling lights . Sometiems the hill rises up on columns , revealing the lively light of the Fairies who slowly move togheter towars another hill. It happens traditionally during Lammas period,expecially on August the 7th. By tradition the best time for seeing fairies is the twighlight and midnight when the moon is full. There are a number of dates which hold particular significance with regard to those who wish to find (or avoide) the fay.
The very numerous fairy animals, of which there are many traditions in the British Isles, may be divided into two main classes. There are wild ones, that exist for their own purposes and in their own right, and the domesticated ones bred and used by the fairies. It is sometimes difficult to distinguish between these two types, because the fairies occasionally allow their creatures to roam freely, as, for instance, the Cu Sith of the Highlands, which is generally kept as a watch dog in the Brughs, but is at times free to roam as its pleasure, and the Crodh Mara, which sometimes visit human herds. But the distinction is generally clear. The two kinds of fairy creatures occur very early in our traditions and are mentioned in the medieval chronicles.
The Nimble Men or Merry Dancers were the names given by Highlanders to the Aurora Borealis. In SCOTTISH FOLK LORE AND FOLK LIFE, by Mackenzie, gives a good account of the tradition about the Fir Chlis (Merry Dancers), distinguishing their 'everlasting battle' from the more hurtful activities of the Sluagh. He himself was told of the 'Nimble Men' engaging in fights between the clans of two chiefs, rivals for the possession of a fairy lady.
People have throughout the ages held a fascination for caves. A wide variety of traditions associated with caves occurs in Welsh folklore and the stories may concern smuggling, secret places where heroes are sleeping or fugitives have hidden, treasure has been concealed or mythical beasts have had their lairs. There are many caves in Wales where King Arthur and his knights are said to be sleeping, waiting to be called on when their country has need of their services. Such caves are supposed to exist on Lliwedd near Snowdon or at Craig y Dinas in the Neath Valley. We are also informed that King Arthur's treasure is buried in a cave at Llangwyfan on Anglesey and his magical adviser is imprisoned in a cave yet to be discovered on Myrddin's Hill near Carmarthen.
The fairies of the Medieval Romances grew out of the Celtic tradition of the Heroic Fairies, the knights and ladies of the MABINOGION, the Daoine Sidh who encountered the Milesians in love or battle; but the poets and dramatists of the Elizabethan age brought a different strand of fairy tradition into prominence. This was partly because the rise of the yeoman class, as the 16th century went on, had brought a spread of literacy and produced a new class of writers, drawn from the country up to town as Shakespeare was drawn, and bringing with them their own country traditions,
Among the many beliefs held about the fairies, there is one strand which describes them as beautiful in appearance, but with a deformity which they cannot always hide. The Scandinavian ellewomen, for instance, have beautiful faces, but if looked at from behind are seen to be hollow. The evil but beautiful Glaistigs of the Highlands wear trailing green dresses to conceal their goat's hoofs.
In the middle ages fairy aristocrats were thought to be the most beautiful of fairylands people and their heroic exploits were described in legends about King Authur, in the Border ballads and in medieval romance. In many stories they were led by a King and a Queen and were at least the size of humans, but they could also be tiny. Like human aristocrats they spent their time hunting, hawking and feasting. Many tales were told of the fairy Rade, when they rode in procession behind there king and queen, on white horses hung with silver bells.
Most nature fairies are the descendents of pre-Christian Gods and Goddesses, or of the spirits of streams, lakes and trees. Black Annis, a blue faced said to haunt the Dane Hills of Leicestershire, and Gentle Annie, who governs storms in the Scottish Lowlands may be descended from the Irish Goddess Danu (Anu), mother of Irelands Cave Fairies. Their Highland sister Cailleach Bheur or Blue Hag, seems to be the spirit of Winter. She freezes the ground by stricking it with her staff, and loses her power when spring comes.
It has been recently hypothesised that many of the alien and UFO sighings that are being constantly reported, are actually sightings of faeries. Cultural tracking, first brought to our notice by Jacques Vallée in his 1970 classic Passport to Magonia , demonstraits the similarities between abduction by fairies, who were taken to ‘fairyland’, and modern kidnapping by extraterrestrials. Is it a coincidence that toadstools, supposedly domain of the fairies, resemble modern saucer shape craft? One answer is that witnesses in previous times described extraterrestrials and their flying machines in terms of fairies and toadstools.
Clean Hearth - The first recipe in old days for encouraging fairy visits and gaining fairy favours was to leave the hearth swept and the fire clear. This seems some indication of the contention that domestic fairies were of the type of the Lares, the ancestral spirits who were the ghosts of those who had been buried under the hearth according to the primitive custom in pre-classical times.
Clean Water - A bowl of clear, fair water had to be left in any place where the fairy ladies were supposed to resort with their babies to wash them by the fire. Dirty water or empty pails were commonly punished by pinching or lameness.
Cheerful - A cheerful wayfarer, a cheerful giver and a cheerful worker are all likely to gain the patronage of the fairies, who dislike nothing so much as grumbling and moaning.
Fay or Faery are sometimes divided into two classes which includes the trooping or solitary fairies. Solitary generally being the less friendly of the two. It is a distinction that hold good throughout the British Isles, and is indeed valid wherever fairy beliefs are held. The trooping fay can be large or small, friendly or sinister. They tend to wear green jackets, while the Solitary Faery wear red jackets. They can range from the Heroic Faery to the dangerrous and malevolent Sluagh, or to Diminutive Fairies who include the tiny nature spirits that make the fairy rings with their dancing and speed the growth of flowers.
Trooping Faeries: A. They can be large or small, friendly or sinister. They
tend to wear green jackets and love hunting and riding. The smaller ones
make faery rings with their circular dances.
The Urisk is an extremely hideous creature with deeply wrinkled skin, patches of hair, feathers that grow from their backs and
huge misshapen heads. If human stumbles upon them they are struck with fear and runaway to safety. He haunts lonely pools and waterfalls. Sadly, the Urisk is a lonely being who longs for human company. And will often seek out human company but his peculiar appearance terrifies those he approaches.Solitary faerieA Water Elemental
The name of the fairies in Gower of Wales. In some parts of Wales Tylwyth Teg is never used to describe fairies; Verry Volk is used instead. Verry Volk were always little people who dressed in scarlet and green; and they generally showed themselves dancing on moonlit nights. By nature they are benevolent.