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The Student's Mythology A Compendium of Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Assyrian, Persian, Hindoo, Chinese, Thibetian, Scandinavian, Celtic, Aztec, and Peruvian Mythologies

Page: 52

Ques. What was the usual mode of sacrifice?

Ans. Victims offered to Baal were always burned. On important occasions, a great number were enclosed in a huge frame of wicker work in which they were consumed together. In offerings to other gods, different rites were observed.

These remarks apply chiefly to Gaul, Germany and Britain. Human sacrifices were rare in Ireland.

Ques. What were the principal festivals of the Druids?

Ans. The Tauric festival, which has been already mentioned, was the most ancient, dating from the time of the Chaldees, or Babylonians. In Ireland and in the Highlands of Scotland, the first of May takes its name from this solemnity, being called in Gaelic, Beltane; and in Irish, Beal-Tinne, or the Fire of Baal. The solstices were also celebrated as the chief points in the sun’s annual course. Wherever Druidism prevailed, there was in the centre of each great district or canton, a perpetual fire in honor of Baal. On the feast of the god, this was extinguished, and again lighted, after which all the fires throughout the country were rekindled from this sacred source. This rite was observed with particular solemnity in Ireland. There the Druids


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