Tales from the Northern Forests

Beelzebub's Feast

After a long, cold winter in the Northern Forests, the houses of the people are turned out. The windows are opened, rugs and carpet beaters are taken outside, the curtains get washed, duvets are aired, the hearth gets swept and rubbish is thrown away. In both the Christian and Jewish traditions springtime has long been associated with 'spring cleaning'.
The people living in the low lands of the Northern Forests i.e. The Netherlands call this big spring clean Beelzebub Feast.

Beelzebub was once a Canaanite god called Ba'al zebhul. His name meant lofty, superior Lord. The Hebrews, however, pronounced his name incorrectly - probably on purpose - as Ba'al zebhubh from ba'al 'lord' and zebhbh 'flies' and so the once Lofty Lord became the Lord of the Flies. The Dutch then sarcastically called their yearly big spring clean Beelzebub Feast.

Nowadays, Beelzebub has become the Lord of all Demons and is known as the devil himself. This is very fitting as the serious diseases and deadly viruses that his army of little flies and mosquitos carry, poses one of the biggest threats to the people of the Northern Forests.

More Tales from the Northern Forests  >>

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