Saturday, June 21, 2014

International Fairy Day

Here's one more reason--if you need it--that fairies are not just for kids: International Fairy Day!
It takes place June 24, coinciding with the Feast Day of St. John, and follows the holiday often celebrated in Ireland, St. John's Eve on June 23. So International Fairy Day gives the young at heart (if not in years) an opportunity to celebrate the magic and whimsy of fairies.

I've actually been a huge fairy fan from way back. The first books I read were all fairy tales, and my favorite stories always had--you guessed it--fairies in them. My first store-bought Halloween costume was a fairy outfit, royal blue with silver sparkles on it. Of course, it was cheapo polyester instead of more fairy-like satin and tulle, but I was 7, in fairy heaven. And one of my favorite childhood movies was "Darby O'Gill and the Little People," in which Sean Connery romances an Irish lass and hangs out with a bunch of fairies.

Fairies--known also not just as "Little People" but as "Good People" and "The Other Crowd" are still on my radar in a big way. My house has a fair amount of fairy stuff in it, including an intriguing little art book, Lady Cottington's Pressed Fairy Book. One of the best children's books and Irish stories I've come across is The Wee Christmas Cabin of Car-na-ween. When I recently went to Disneyland and saw Tinkerbell flying over the Castle during the fireworks show, I was as entranced as my 6-year old granddaughter. Actually, probably more. If you need further proof of my fairy fandom,  3 of my 4 Village of Ballydara books has a fairy thread in the storylines: It Only Takes Once, The Secret Well, and The Christmas Visitor... Plus, I'm working on a new fairy-themed story!

If you're ready to celebrate fairies, today, the Summer Solstice, is a great time to start: I understand fairies are especially active on the first day of Summer. While you're at it, find a copy of the film "Fairy Tale: A True Story. It's a pure delight. You can find the story behind the film, but warning: the site contains a spoiler! So don't visit the link until after you've seen the movie.

And here's one last bit of fairy wisdom, from author Tom Robbins: "...I think [a child's imagination] comes from fairies...certain children are visited by a fairy in their cradle, and are tapped on their forehead with a small but luminous wand. After that, even all the forces in our culture, and there are many, are unable to totally subdue it."

So whatever your age, I hope you'll embrace the magic of summer and life and celebrate International Fairy Day!