Friday, January 6, 2012

Rainbow Cats and Fire Wizards

I laid down for a quick nap and dreamed that I was visiting an Asian Island city built into the sides of a massive volcano
Shaped much like this island.  http://tourism-philippines.com/batangas/
where cats were abundant and signs of good fortune.
http://www.amusingplanet.com/2011/03/tashirojima-cat-island-of-japan.html  You might like the link-- It's about a real cat island.
Through the center of the city, they had a tremendously wide and long staircase that went from the top of the volcano down to (presumably, as I couldn't see it in my dream) the beach/ base.
http://journals.worldnomads.com/bettedarling/photo/26903/743238/Cambodia/The-stairs-up-the-mountain-to-Banan-Temple
Today was their fire celebration and everyone was out celebrating with merchant and vendors all along (and out on) the stairs, waiting for the fire wizard's parade.

http://mmm-yoso.typepad.com/.a/6a00d83451b81169e20120a64850b1970c-pi
http://filipinolifeinpictures.wordpress.com/category/philippines/page/62/
http://photography.nationalgeographic.com/photography/photo-of-the-day/balloon-vendor-vietnam/

I was with a local friend, and for good luck, we dyed my Peeve cat's fur in vibrant rainbow colors.
http://www.swapmeetdave.com/Humor/Cats/Opie.htm

Just as we finished, the parade began, but they didn't given the vendors time to move and stalls began falling down the stairs in slow motion.  They froze before anything was really broken and by magic, righted themselves where they were (even if that meant they were 30 stairs further down than where'd they'd been).  Every surface was covered in glass jars of unlit candles and as the fire wizards wound there way down,
http://habagatcentral.multiply.com/photos/photo/106/7

they magically lit them.
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-QzrvBr5UwsI/TwNi3vcSLuI/AAAAAAAAA9A/OnyIvnFiF-4/s640/Diwali+Festival+Of+Lights+In+India.jpg


People stood stock still, even if you were in the middle and the wizards would practically be standing on top of you-- No one moved while the wizards were passing.  I don't know if it was simply tradition, or we actually couldn't-- because with a wizard standing directly behind me while they lit the row, I wasn't going to try.
http://habagatcentral.com/2008/11/02/light-fire-banaag-festival-of-anilao-iloilo/  You should visit the link to read about a real fire and light festival!


Once they'd passed our section and continued down the volcano and out of sight leaving a lovely trail of flickering light and mild chaos in their wake,
http://habagatcentral.multiply.com/photos/album/106?&show_interstitial=1&u=%2Fphotos%2Falbum  Visit for more amazing photos of the Banaag Festival!


my cat came out to visit and rubbed against my leg.  I bent to pet him, realized that it was the spirit of his sister, and woke up, missing her.

In the course of writing this blog and learning more about the Banaag Festival, that seems like a fitting end to the dream.

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