I got this cute little sign post last year for my Fairy Garden. So now I'm going to enlighten you about Fairy Rings! Now, what actually is a Fairy Ring?
Scientifically, it is a huge threadlike, musty-smelling mass, called a mycelium, which causes mushrooms to grow in a circle. (Not good for the grass, as the fungus eats the nutrients from the grass!)
Mythologically speaking, it is a worn area in the grass made by fairies dancing. The English believed that fairy rings were where fairies came to dance and celebrate, the mushrooms of the rings were used as stools for the fairies to recuperate during the evening's festivities.
The following information is from Druansha's Page:
"...old legends will tell you that this is where the Faeries dance and perform many of the rituals of their own magic. Legends might warn you that those who join the Fairy dance within the circle under the moon are sometimes lost to time and place and may even disappear forever..."
There are many stories written on Fairy history, folklore, and superstitions. Most of them talk about the terrible consequences of interfering in the lives of Fairies, revealing their location, stepping into their ring or trying to capture them.
"...if a human steps into the ring (s)he will be compelled to join the Fairies in their wild dancing, which would seem to occur just a few minutes but in fact would last for seven years or more. The unfortunate human can only be rescued by someone outside the ring who can grab hold of his or her coat-tails..."
It is said that bad luck and doom befalls those who cross the Fairies but I'm not sure if this is an early Celtic interpretation because later in the Victorian Era Fairies were seen as something romantic, titillating and strangely beautiful & captivating.