The Road To Marigand- The Portobello Festival

Many of the tales and fables of Europe originated in Marigand since it is the oldest of countries. As a continent as well as country the range of climate is as diverse as its people. One of the greatest contributions to the world is the ancient and honored festival of the mushrooms; all kinds but specifically Portobello. The mushroom caves of Marigand are known the world over for their splendor and bounty. While they can grow just about anywhere, the deep caverns and caves create an ideal climate for the mushroom spores to proliferate.

Unlike the rest of the world the Portobello Festival begins later in the day with the Blessing of the Caves followed by singing and dancing in circles of varying size and number of participants through the dusk of day into the darkness of night.This is, no doubt, the origin of the faery/mushroom circle so prevalent throughout europe.

One added reason for this connection is that the citizens of Marigand collect the mushroom spores by entering the caves during the blessing wearing only a shift or nightshirt. The spores are extremely small but clingy. The single layer of cloth was found to be ideal for the harvesting. Dancing with a shift full of spores into the night, some are bound to fall away and create the faery rings we see even today. Once night has fallen and the stars shine down from a cloudless sky the celebrants release the spores which catch the wind to go by pathless ways becoming a blessing to the rest of the world.

Many participants find themselves caught up by the festival and spend the remainder of the night in reflection until the rising sun brings light and a new day.

The Brothers Grimm, as they compiled their stories and legends from all of europe, transcribed the story of the Sterntaler (star money): “An unnamed, orphaned girl is poor and homeless; she has only her clothing and a loaf of bread that a kindhearted soul has given her. She is a goodhearted person, however, and so she goes out into the countryside to see what might happen. She gives a hungry man her bread, and to three cold children she gives her cap, her jacket, and her dress. After wandering into a forest, she sees a naked child begging for a shift, and since it is dark and she cannot be seen, she gives her own shift away. As she stands there with nothing left at all, suddenly stars fall to earth before her, becoming talers, and she finds herself wearing a new shift of the finest linen. The story ends with her being rich.”

A blessing, and a gift. The girl is a blessing to others and receives a blessing in return. The star money or Sterntaler are the spores rising up instead of coming down. The return blessings are the riches of the Spirit and Soul. Have a Blessed Portobello Day from Marigand!