the kindled bonfire


Since the Best Friends are doing their Dark Souls 3 LP now I figure it’s the best time to finally getting around to making my own design of Bonfire-chan.

Instead of being lazy and making her just another fire woman, I figured I’d take it a few steps further in the design process.

I’d hazard to think that Bonfire-chan came about due to latent soul energy from the countless times you’ve burned/kindled the bonfires you rest at, its flames warping and weaving into a humanoid form to match the souls/humanity you’ve fed it. Her skin would be that of fired clay, a shell to help encase her unruly flames and maintain her newfound shape. That, and her clothing would be that of scorched and tattered rags, kindling and sticks stuffed in places so that it can continue to fuel her transitory existence in the grim wasteland you and she share together.

The Terrible Tradition of Burning Cats,

One of those bizarre and cruel European traditions involving animals was the practice of cat burning, which originated in the Middle Ages.  At the time cats were often symbolic of evil and dark magic.  Thus it was not uncommon to celebrate the holidays by burning cats, I kid you not.  Throughout most of Europe cat burning died out after the Middle Ages. However in France the tradition of cat burning carried on, growing stronger until around the mid to late 18th century.  Typically on the summer solstice of June 24th, in which St. John was celebrated, a large bonfire was made in the city square in which dozens if not hundreds of cats, contained in barrels, wicker baskets, or sacks would be flung into the inferno. One of the largest and most popular annual cat burnings was the inferno at Paris, attended by French monarchs, nobles, politicians, and much of the French court.  In 1648 King Louis XIV himself had the honor of personally kindling the cat burning bonfire.  Different cities and regions had different practices, as described by the historian Robert Darnton in his book The Great Cat Massacre,

“A favorite object was cats — cats tied up in bags, cats suspended from ropes, or cats burned at stake. Parisians liked to incinerate cats by the sackful, while the Courimauds (or "cour à miaud” or cat chasers) of Saint Chamond preferred to chase a flaming cat through the streets. In parts of Burgundy and Lorraine they danced around a kind of burning May pole with a cat tied to it. In the Metz region they burned a dozen cats at a time in a basket on top of a bonfire. The ceremony took place with great pomp in Metz itself, until it was abolished in 1765. … Although the practice varied from place to place, the ingredients were everywhere the same: a “feu de joie” (bonfire), cats, and an aura of hilarious witch-hunting. Wherever the scent of burning felines could be found, a smile was sure to follow.“

Another eyewitness was a priest and secret atheist named Jean Meslier,

"Among other things, these mischievous, brutal madmen make [the cats] cruelly suffer harsh and violent tortures in their entertainments and even in public celebrations; they tie up nipping cats to the end of some pole they set up and at the bottom of which they light the fires of joy where they burn them alive to have the pleasure of seeing the violent movements and hearing the frightening cries that these poor unfortunate beasts are forced to make because of the harshness and violence of the tortures.”

The practice of cat burning was eventually banned in many cities around the mid 18th century, and finally nationally abolished during the French Revolution.


Beltane or Beltainis the Gaelic May Day festival. Most commonly it is held on 1 May, or about halfway between the spring equinox and the summer solstice. Historically, it was widely observed throughout Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man. In Irish it is Bealtaine, in Scottish Gaelic Bealltainn and in Manx Gaelic Boaltinn or Boaldyn. It is one of the four Gaelic seasonal festivals—along with Samhain, Imbolc and Lughnasadh—and is similar to the Welsh Calan Mai.

Beltane is mentioned in some of the earliest Irish literature and it is associated with important events in Irish mythology. It marked the beginning of summer and was when cattle were driven out to the summer pastures. Rituals were performed to protect the cattle, crops and people, and to encourage growth. Special bonfires were kindled, and their flames, smoke and ashes were deemed to have protective powers. The people and their cattle would walk around the bonfire, or between two bonfires, and sometimes leap over the flames or embers. All household fires would be doused and then re-lit from the Beltane bonfire. These gatherings would be accompanied by a feast, and some of the food and drink would be offered to the aos sí. Doors, windows, byres and the cattle themselves would be decorated with yellow May flowers, perhaps because they evoked fire. In parts of Ireland, people would make a May Bush; a thorn bush decorated with flowers, ribbons and bright shells. Holy wells were also visited, while Beltane dew was thought to bring beauty and maintain youthfulness. Many of these customs were part of May Day or Midsummer festivals in other parts of Great Britain and Europe.

continued at