Fire customs are among the most spectacular in our custom calendar. A Beltane Fire Festival takes place in Edinburgh on the eve of May Day. In Cornwall bonfires are lit at Midsummer. On ‘old’ Midsummer the Baal Fire burns in Whalton in Northumberland. At the end of June ‘Owd Bartle’ burns in West Witton. Halloween (All Hallows Eve) is less incendiary but candles do burn in witches’ lanterns. But Bonfire Night is the one for ten thousand bonfires, fireworks displays and processions - though it may be argued that some of the ceremonies long pre-date Guy Fawkes. Fire breaks out in the north on New Year’s Eve and has its climax at Up-Helly-Aa in the Shetlands on the last Thursday in January.