Laverstone was heaving yesterday. Heaving with people, I mean. There was a swirl of crowded streets all the way from Knifegate to Park Road all for the sake of a procession and the annual cake fair.
Yes there were cakes. And Tea. And tea cakes if you looked in the right places. In deference to history, this annual pilgrimage started out as nothing to do with baked goods at all but in an Imbolc offering of milk and freshly slaughtered lamb to the Fae. They were a superstitious lot in the thirteenth century. They had no idea the Fae would come and go as they pleased, irrespective of offerings. The Fae were a stuck-up bunch of arrogant savages in those days. The cake in question was a small mound un the woods at the top of Blue Fairy Hill (where the standing stone is, at the top of the waterfall) where they would leave the offerings.
cake early 13c., from Old Norse kaka "cake," from West Germanic. *kokon- - "something round, lump of something."
Needless to say, the town was choc-a-bloc with hippies and people dressed as fairies (and elves and dwarves and for some reason, three 'Lord of the Rings' wraiths) and people dressed as knights and other Norman men at arms. The whole festival has become a hodge-podge of Imbolc, legend and the triumph of Spring over Winter; good over evil. And who am I to judge, really? It was me who dismantled the Fae Door in 1585.
Oh, I've been asked to mention Meinwen's "The Triumph of Light' booklet about the festival and the traditions behind it. On sale in her shop at £2.99.