Irish Traditions

Quick Guide to Irish Fairies


Young beautiful woman in the image of fairies, magic dark forest
Young beautiful woman in the image of fairies, dark forest

Irish Fairies and Anti Fairy Measures

In Ireland many folks still believe there are fairies, good nurtured and some mischievous FAIRIES. If you have ever traveled at night on the winding Irish back roads in the countryside of Ireland, you would know it is a kind of eerie darkness that puts fear in your very heart. One can easily imagine something moving over the moors or hearing the forlorn screech of a dammed fairy.

As a child in Ireland you are warned to not play inside a fairy fort because the fairies don’t like it and might curse you or worse, they might fancy you. Fairy forts are mounds or hills found all over Ireland. They are the ruins of circular mound dwellings in which people lived during the Iron Age such as Newgrange.

Irish folklore speak about the so called lone bushes. These lone bushes or trees are the supposed gathering places of the Irish Fairies. In Ireland, its believed fairy trees are the sacred grounds for the sídhe, the people of the mounds.

Sídhe is the Gaelic term for a burial mound and in Ireland; it is commonly used to refer to Faeries. You will often hear folks refernce the phrase ‘daoine sidhe’ (pronounced deenee shee) meaning faerie folk mentioned in these parts.

The fairies are believed to be the Tuatha de Danann, one of the first ancient tribes to arrive in Ireland. It is said they were a magical and secretive people.  They loved beautiful Ireland so much they decided to use their magic to shrink themselves and live underground. It is why various folklore traditions refer to fairies as wee folk.

‘Away with the fairies’ is an old Irish expression referring to someone whose mind is elsewhere. It originated with the belief in the folklore that mischievous fairies steal souls and carry children off to the underworld, leaving changelings in their place.
A Changeling is a creature thought to be the offspring of a fairy that has been secretly left in the place of a human child. It is thought that fairies often fancy mortals and steal their pretty children. They carry the babies away leaving behind a Changeling, an ailing fairy child, or a log of wood so bewitched that they seems to be a mortal pining away in bewilderment.
They say if you wear your clothing inside out or wear bells you can ward off the malevolent fairies.

Anti-Fairy Measures for Halloween

There is an old Irish folklore that warns of fairies and goblins that try to collect as many souls as they can at Halloween. Folklore says if you through the dust from under your feet at the Fairy then they would be obliged to release any souls that they held captive.

 

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