needfire

noun

Definition of needfire

: a purificatory fire traditionally kindled usually by friction of dry wood in time of distress (as during a cattle plague) in the belief that it would ward off evil spirits specifically : the fire lighted on the night of St. John the Baptist's Day (June 24) to ward off sickness and ill luck — compare saint john's fire

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History and Etymology for needfire

need entry 1 + fire

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one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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