Celtic Holidays, Halloween, Interesting Stories, Ireland, Irish Legends, Irish Traditions

Celebrating the Autumn Equinox Called Mabon

The Celtic festival known as Mabon takes place on the Autumn Equinox. Mea’n Fo’mhair is the name that the Druids give to this festival, during which they pay homage to the Green Man, who is considered to be the God of the Forest, by pouring libations for the trees. At this time, it is permissible to make offerings of ciders and wines, as well as herbs and fertilizer. Mabon, like Ostara, is an equinox festival, but unlike Ostara, the emphasis of Mabon is on balance. This is because the vernal equinox is one of the few occasions throughout the year when genuine balance can be seen in nature. Day and night are on par with one another. At Mabon, the chopping down of John Barleycorn is symbolized by the use of three stalks of locally gathered barley that are knotted together with rafia and a little bit of red wool. The folk tale and song known as “The Ritual of John Barleycorn” is meant to symbolize the planting, growth, and final “sacrifice” or harvesting of corn. The story is told in the form of a ritual. Mabon is known as a period when mysteries may be revealed. It is appropriate to pay homage to the Spirit World at this time. It is a time that is considered to be a time of equilibrium, and it is during this time that we take a break, relax, and take pleasure in what we have produced as a result of our individual labors, whether those labors have been directed toward the care of our gardens, our families, or any projects that we have been working on.

After the toil and labor of harvesting, the festival of Mabon ushers in a period of leisure and relaxation. In terms of one’s life path, it is the season of reaping what one has sown; it is the time to look back at the goals and ambitions of Imbolc and Ostara and reflect on how those hopes and aspirations have come to fruition. As we get ready to start our descent, now is the time to wrap up any unfinished business, clean house, and let go of everything that is no longer desired or required so that we may make the most of the quiet and reflective season that winter brings. And now is the moment to sow the seeds of fresh thoughts and dreams, which will remain dormant but be nurtured in the darkness until the coming of spring.

About the Autumn Equinox also known as Mabon

How do you pronounce Mabon?

The word Mabon is pronounced MA-bun with the “a” like in cat. It is a modern word to describe the Fall Equinox

What is the Meaning of Mabon?

The name “Mabon” comes from the sun deity of the same name who was worshiped in the Celtic religion. Mabon, also known as the Fall or Autumn Equinox, is also known as the Festival of Dionysus, the Harvest of First Fruits, and the Wine Harvest.

What is the celebration of Mabon?

The Autumnal Equinox marks the beginning of Mabon, a pagan harvest festival that is held annually around September 21st and continues until September 24th. This celebration, which is also known as Harvest Home, takes place in the midst of the harvest season, at the point in time when the days and nights are of equal duration. Pagans and ancient Celts observed this day as a time to express gratitude to the natural world for a bountiful harvest and to pray to their deities and goddesses for the continuation of the harvest during the colder months.

What exactly is the story of John Barleycorn?

John Barleycorn is a figure that appears in English mythology. He is said to personify the harvest of barley that takes place in the fall. In addition to this, he is symbolic of the magnificent beers and whiskeys that can be produced from barley, as well as the benefits that these beverages have.

What is the term given by the Celts to the Autumn Equinox?

Mabon is the name of the Celtic festival that celebrates the autumn equinox and takes place when the summer heat gives way to the crisp air of autumn. This event is held every year as a part of the traditional Celtic festivals, which trace back to ancient times.

What is the Autumn Equinox?

The autumnal equinox, when the Sun travels south over the celestial equator, occurs on September 21 or September 23 in the Northern Hemisphere. As the Sun crosses the celestial equator heading northward on March 20 or 21, the Southern Hemisphere experiences the equinox. Peasants in Christianized parts of Europe observed the autumn equinox as the Feast of the Archangel Michael throughout the Middle Ages.

When Exactly does the Autumn Equinox take place?

What exactly is the equinox that occurs in autumn? The sun is aligned such that it shines squarely on the equator at the fall equinox, and this ensures that both the northern and southern hemispheres get an equal quantity of sunlight. At exactly 2:21 p.m. on Wednesday, the alignment will take place formally. Regardless of whether or not there are clouds in the sky, Austin will get around 12 hours and 8 minutes of daylight.

Mabon Celtic Mythology

In Celtic mythology, Mabon is the period when, according to folklore, the God of Light was vanquished by the God of Darkness, which resulted in the lengthening of the night. Mabon is the son of Modron, the Great Goddess of the Earth, according to Celtic tradition. After his birth, Mabon was abducted for three days, which caused light to go into hiding. In addition, Mabon represents the masculine character that is associated with the harvest.

Mabon Signs and Symbols

The symbols we identify with Thanksgiving are very similar to those associated with Mabon symbols.

  • Apples: The apple is used to represent the Fruit Harvest as a symbol. In a great number of spiritual practices, the apple plays a crucial role. It is a symbol of healing, rejuvenation, regeneration, and completeness in addition to representing life and immortality. It is said to restore youth, add years to your life, and make you more beautiful. The apple is known in Ogham as “Quert,” which is also the name of a character who exemplifies health and energy. The apple, which represents the origin of life, may be found in the center of the Ogham grove. The pagan belief is that the apple harbors a “secret.” If you cut an apple lengthwise, you will find that it has the shape of a pentagram and contains five seeds. It is a beloved representation of the Pagan religion. As a result, the five points also symbolize the cardinal directions of east, south, west, north, and inside in addition to the elements of earth, air, fire, and water, with spirit at the top of the list.
  • The Cornucopia: Mabon is traditionally represented by the cornucopia, also known as the Horn of Plenty. It is a magnificent sign of the prosperity that harvest brings, and it is a beautifully balanced symbol that has both masculine (phallic) and feminine elements (hollow and receptive).

Colors of Mabon:

The colors of autumn foliage are the ones most often associated with the Mabon Celebration, so this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.

  • dark green
  • red
  • orange
  • yellow
  • brown
  • gold

The Autumn Equinox and Mabon is a time of celebration as well as leisure after the toil and labor of the harvest. In terms of one’s life path, it is the season of reaping what one has sown; it is the time to look back at the goals and ambitions of Imbolc and Ostara and reflect on how those hopes and aspirations have come to fruition. As we get ready to start our descent, now is the time to wrap up any unfinished business, clean house, and let go of everything that is no longer desired or required so that we may make the most of the quiet and reflective season that winter brings. And now is the moment to sow the seeds of fresh thoughts and dreams, which will remain dormant but be nurtured in the darkness until the coming of spring.

 What it Means to be Celtic

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A Guide to Celtic Ogham Symbols and Their Meanings

Ogham is a timeless and ancient alphabet. The term Ogham is derived from the word Ogma, which refers to the Celtic God of Elocution or eloquence. The Ogham alphabet consists of groups of one to five lines arranged vertically over a stem line, with each group representing a distinct letter.

The history of the beautiful, enchanting, and mythological Ogham alphabet is obscured by the mists of time. The Ogham script is the earliest written alphabet in Ireland, and its origin is still the subject of considerable conjecture.

Some experts date Ogham to the first century AD, while others place its origins in the fourth century. It is believed that the Ogham alphabet originated in southwest Ireland, likely in Cork or Kerry, but this enigmatic script prefers to preserve secrets!

Researchers can only state with certainty that it is an ancient alphabet that was widely used from the fourth to ninth centuries, mostly for ceremonial inscriptions. With our exquisite collection of Ogham jewelry, it is now able to share this illustrious past.

When did Ogham become obsolete?

Ogham is an alphabet found on monumental inscriptions from the fourth to sixth centuries AD and in manuscripts from the sixth to ninth centuries AD. Primitive and Old Irish were its primary uses, along with Old Welsh, Pictish, and Latin.

What is the number of Ogham stones in Ireland?

There are now about 400 ogham stones in existence, with the majority (roughly 360) located in Ireland. The biggest densities may be found in the southwest, namely in Kerry, Cork, and Waterford.

Is Ogham a Celtic language?

According to the High Medieval Bratharogam, distinct letters correspond to the names of different trees. Because of this, ogham is frequently referred to as the Celtic tree alphabet.

How does the Ogham script appear?

This ancient script is an alphabet consisting of a single horizontal line and a succession of vertical and diagonal lines for each letter. The lines symbolize several historic Irish letters. Today, around 400 instances of Ogham stones may still be discovered in Ireland and West Wales.

Did Druids use Ogham?

It is said that Ogham was founded by Gaulish Druids in Cisalpine Gaul circa 600 BCE as a hand signal and vocal language.

Is Ogham read from lowest to highest?

Every character is composed of many slashes. These would be read from bottom to top along the center line. Each letter is mostly found in Ireland and Western Wales and is related to a tree or plant. It is thought that the majority of Ogham was written in Old Irish.

Ancient Ogham Alphabet

About the Ancient Ogham Alphabet

In regards to the Ogham Alphabet, minimalism is beautiful. Reading from bottom to top, the alphabet is phonetic and is distinguished by each letter being represented by a succession of markings along a central vertical line.

Numerous myths are related to the enigma surrounding the alphabet. From legends of Celtic Gods to a secret code designed to confound neighboring British tribes, or simply as a means of converting Gaelic sounds into Latin letters, the reality surrounding the individuals who invented the alphabet remains as obscure as ever.

It is simple to see why Ogham is often known as the “Celtic Tree Alphabet.” The vertical line represents the tree’s trunk, while the vertical lines represent its branches. The outcome is a mysterious and ancient beauty that transcends conjecture.

Our Ogham jewelry collection incorporates all of these elements, merging myth, history, legacy, and beauty in a spectacular selection of bespoke pieces.

Recognizing the Ogham Letters

The Ogham Alphabet consists of twenty symbols, some of which are immediately transliterated into letters and others of which are more closely related to sounds. With these twenty characters, any name may be translated into Ogham.

When transliterating your name, the distinctions between the Ogham and Latin alphabets are essential. Numerous of these distinctions indicate that if you have an English name, it is preferable to choose its Irish counterpart.

This is shown by the fact that the letter J in Ogham is identical to the letter S. Considering that Sean is the Irish counterpart of John, this makes a bit more sense.

Other distinctions include:

  • The letter U is replaced with the letter W.
  • The letter K is replaced with the letter X.
  • The letter Y replaces the letter I (i)

Pillar stone from Killeen Cormac, Colbinstown, County Kildare, containing Ogham Script and Roman capitals. Early to mid-7th century A.D.

This is one of two Ogham stones on display at the National Museum of Ireland on Kildare Street in Dublin. Our store is merely a two-minute walk away. The museum is not enormous, yet it is beautiful. The National Museum is a highly rated and free attraction in Dublin.

A Part of the Past for All Occasions

We think each item of jewelry should possess its own unique enchantment. Our selection of Ogham jewelry includes this and much more. Shop The Irish Jewelry Company to learn more about our selection of mystical and exquisite Ogham jewelry.

 The Many Irish Fairy Kings of Folklore

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Top 10 Scary Irish Mythological Creatures

Addressing Scary Irish Mythological Creatures or Celtic Mythological Creatures is the topic of one of the most frequent inquiries that we receive in connection with Irish mythology.

However, once you’ve spent enough time reading about Irish folklore, you’ll know that there are quite a few Irish mythical creatures out there and that they differ in the sort of creatures that they are. This is something that you’ll know if you’ve spent any time reading about Irish folklore. Some of the animals that may be found in Irish mythology, such as the Pooka, are associated with a charming and humorous story, whilst others, are very terrible!

Since the beginning of Celtic mythology, old Irish creatures and demons have been used to scare members of the general public, particularly around the time of Halloween.

The Irish term for demon is “deamhan,” and it is surely widely utilized since bad powers, monsters, demons, and ghosts have long been feared in Celtic mythology. The word “deamhan” comes from the Irish language.

The ancient Celts believed in hundreds of different Irish legendary deities, but much like other nations, their society also had its share of demons. Some of the “monsters” who were worshiped in Celtic culture were, in fact, formerly gods who were subsequently recast as evil pagan beings when many Celts converted to Christianity.

The list of most terrifying beasts and spirits from Celtic mythology, just in time for Halloween.

  • Dearg Due – the Irish vampire
  • The Cailleach – the Celtic witch
  • Púca – the Irish Ghost
  • The Bánánach – Demons
  • Balor – Celtic demon king
  • The Sluagh – Celtic monster
  • Banshee – the Irish wailing ghost
  • Merrow– Sea fairy
  • The Dullahan – the Irish headless horseman
  • Ellén Trechend – Three headed monster

Dearg Due – the Irish Vampire

There is a vampire that dwells smack dab in the center of Ireland, but Dracula himself was created in Ireland (the monster was written about in Bram Stoker’s classic book, which was also written by an Irishman).

Dearg-due is an Irish word for a female demon that first seduces men and then drains them of their blood. The name literally translates to “red bloodsucker.” An Irish lady who was famous across the land for her beauty and who fell in love with a local peasant against her father’s disapproval is said to have been the subject of a tale that originated in Celtic culture.

Her father coerced her into entering into an arranged marriage with a wealthy guy who mistreated her, which led to her taking her own life in the end. She was laid to rest next to Strongbow’s Tree in Waterford, but one night she arose from her grave to exact her vengeance on her father and husband. She drank their blood until they were no longer able to breathe, and then she ate their bodies.

The vampire, who is now known as Dearg-due, comes to life once a year and uses her alluring appearance to entice men to their deaths. There is, however, a strategy that may be used to successfully combat Dearg-due. It is sufficient to construct a mound of stones on top of her grave in order to forestall the resuscitation of the dead. No, it won’t be enough to kill her, but at least it will buy you some time till the new year!

The Cailleach – Celtic Witch

The Cailleach, often known as the Celtic witch, is mentioned in a number of the old tales that have been passed down from generation to generation in Ireland. This particular school of witchcraft gets its name from the fact that its practitioners base their rituals and rites on numerous elements of Celtic folklore and mythology.

There are many legends told about the Cailleach, often known as the Celtic witch, in the folklore of Ireland. At Samhain, she would make her descent from the mountains, and from then until Beltaine, she would govern the earth. The oldest of all the tales comes from Celtic culture. The name Cailleach translates to “Old Wife,” and she is considered to be one of the most important figures in Celtic mythology. The Cailleach was worshiped as the goddess of the cold and the winds. The duration and severity of winter were both within the Cailleach’s control. She was also sometimes referred to as the Veiled One of the Queen of Winter. She is a heavenly hag and a creative goddess at the same time.

Púca or Pooka – the Irish Ghost

Púca is an Irish term that literally translates to “spirit” or “ghost,” and these legendary beings hail from Irish mythology. These legendary beings hailing from Irish folklore are fairies that are capable of assuming the form of a horse, goat, cat, dog, or hare. They are also capable of assuming a human shape, but one that retains certain animal characteristics such as a tail or ears.

They are said to have white or black fur or hair, and they are harbingers of both good and ill fortune, as well as communities that are either rural or sea. They may assist or harm these communities. They like playing tricks on people and will often try to get them to ride on their backs, after which they will take them on a wild and dangerous excursion before delivering them back to the location from whence they originally picked them up. It is stated that a rider may tame a Púca if they wear sharp spurs to either prevent themselves from being abducted by the monster or to direct it if they are already riding on its back. This story originates from the Irish tradition. It is stated that Brian Boru, the last High King of Ireland, was the only man who ever rode a Púca. 

Traditionally, the Púca is celebrated at Samhain, the harvest festival that takes place when the harvests are brought indoors. Anything that is left in the fields after harvesting is set aside for the Púca and is not fit for human consumption. There were some farmers who would appease the Púca by leaving some of the harvests out for it to eat.

There are further legends connected to the Púca, and allusions may be found in a variety of forms of literature, including poetry, music, and more. You could also come across the term phouka or pooka being used to refer to it.

The Bánánach – Irish Demons

The Bánánach brings us right back to the eerie beasts of Celtic mythology with their next appearance. The Bánánach is a supernatural race that is mentioned in Irish mythology. They are said to be able to be seen haunting battlefields.

These terrifying screeching demons that lived in the air may have had the appearance of goats. They were linked to acts of murder and death.

Balor- Celtic Demon King

In Celtic mythology, Balor is the name of the evil version of the god of death. The malevolent monster had only one eye and a single huge leg, yet it held the title of King of the Fomori, a race of demons who inhabited the murky depths of lakes and oceans. Because Balor can murder someone just by glancing at them with his evil eye, he kept it closed most of the time so he wouldn’t have to keep stumbling across dead corpses all the time.

This is one of a few mythological monsters from Ireland that actually terrified me as a youngster after hearing tales about them from my pals. These Celtic creatures were claimed to be restless souls that were considered to be neither accepted in hell nor heaven, therefore it was believed that they were permitted to wander the countryside on their own.

The Sluagh

This is one of a few mythological monsters from Ireland that actually terrified me as a youngster after hearing tales about them from my pals. These Celtic creatures were claimed to be restless souls that were considered to be neither accepted in hell nor heaven, therefore it was believed that they were permitted to wander the countryside on their own.

According to folklore, the Sluaghs were bitter about their plight and would steal the soul of anybody they came into contact with if given the opportunity.

The Banshee- A wailing ghost

Banshee is an Irish word for a ghost that howls. The Banshee is a well-known Irish monster, and legend has it that it often works in conjunction with the Dullahan.

The banshee is a female ghost whose scream, if heard outside of a home, foretells the death of one of its occupants. It is one of the most known Celtic monsters, having made a guest appearance in “Darby O’Gill and the Little People” and all.

According to a number of retellings of the Banshee tale, the terrifying specter traveled accompanied the Dullahan in a dark cart that was pulled by six black horses. It is stated that the two of them would beat the horses with a human spinal cord.

But the majority of tales agree that the Banshee, on her own, was already terrible enough. Her appearance has been described as anything from an ugly old hag to a lovely young lady; yet, everyone agrees that the creature’s bloodcurdling howl will be heard three times before someone passes away.

Merrow – Sea Fairy

When it comes to monsters from myth and legend, Ireland is home to a handful that aren’t as terrifying as others that have been described. It seems that one of them is a Merrow. In Irish tradition, a merman or mermaid might take the form of a merrow. It is stated that in order for them to move freely between the water and dry ground, they must first don a magical cap, which derives from the Irish term murch.

The term is used in two different stories; in the first, a Kerry man steals a green-haired merrow’s red magical cap so that he might marry her, and in the second, a green-bodied hideous male merrow who entertains a fisherman at his house beneath the sea uses the term to describe himself.

The merrow is often referred to as sea fairies and is sometimes shown as having the upper body of a woman but the lower body of a fish. The male merrow did not come close to matching the beauty of its female counterparts. They were generally gentle, but they may become hostile against those who were rude to them or who scared them.

The Dullahan – the Irish headless horseman

The Dullahan is another fabled Irish monster, and its name, which literally translates to “dark man,” describes this creature well. This grim reaper is the equivalent of the headless horseman in Irish folklore and is often featured in modern works of fantasy literature as well as in video games.

The head of the Dullahan is carried under one arm as he rides a headless black horse with burning eyes. When he finally gets off his horse, a person will be killed. In some telling’s of this tale, the Dullahan is said to attack those he passes by hurling buckets of blood at them, while in others, it is said that he merely yells out the name of the person who is about to pass away.

Gold is the Dullahan’s Achilles’ heel, as is the case with most malevolent powers. Because the monster shies away from the material, lone travelers would be advised to bring some with them just in case they come across this headless monstrosity and find themselves face to face with it!

Ellén Trechend – Three headed monster

Ellén Trechend was a genuine monster with Celtic roots. In point of fact, it was a Celtic monster with three heads! Now, the appearance of Ellén Trechend varies from story to tale, much like the appearances of other Irish legendary beings. In some versions of the tale, the beast is described as having the appearance of a vulture, while in others, it is a dragon that breathes fire.

In a story referred to as the Cath Maige Mucrama, it is said that Ellén Trechend would emerge from a cave and go on a rampage that will cause much damage.

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 Newgrange: Winter Solstice and Celtic Spirals

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The Origins of the Term ‘Black Irish’

Occasionally, people may refer to people of Irish descent as “Black Irish.” But have you ever stopped to think about where it originates? The phrase “Black Irish” has been in use for hundreds of years, and several brands of Irish whiskey, including Mariah Carey’s Black Irish cream liqueur and Darker Still Spirits Company Black Irish Whiskey, have even named their product lines after the phrase. 

In spite of this, if you ask your coworker or your acquaintance what it means, they will most likely be at a loss for words. While it was most certainly used originally in a derogatory fashion, the term “Black Irish” is now considered a badge of honor. Just ask my black Irish husband, whose family name ironically, in Gaelic derives, from the word “dearg,” which means red.

What does the term black Irish mean?

The term “black Irish” refers to persons of Irish descent who are supposed to be descendants of the Spanish Armada, which sailed around the middle of the 15th century, and had dark hair and or eyes. The term is used among people of Irish descent and sometimes confuses people since it doesn’t refer to dark skin color.

Where Did the Term “Black Irish” Come From?

People of European descent in the United States came up with innovative methods to differentiate different ethnic European groupings and sub-groups from one another throughout times of significant immigration from Europe to the United States.

Because the vast majority of Irish people have light brown hair about 65 percent, and only 15 percent have black hair while the vast majority of Irish people have fair skin and either blue or green eyes. Classifying this subgroup with the term “black Irish” made it easy to differentiate them from other people of Irish descent.

This was a means of pointing out that black Irish people are different from the majority of people who have more traits that are more characteristically Irish, but funny enough, it should also be emphasized that the number of black Irish is more than the number of redheaded Irish.

Black Irish Celebrities and Public Figures

Here are a few examples of black Irish public figures and celebrities who are of Irish descent in Ireland. All of them have Irish heritage, and in the common parlance, all of them are referred to as being black Irish.

  • Colin Farrell
  • Enya
  • Paul Ryan
  • Lara Flynn Boyle
  • Peter Gallagher
  • Rob James Collier
  • Jennifer Connelly 
Interesting Stories, Ireland, Irish Legends, Irish Traditions, Peaceful Cottage, Travel Ireland

The Irish Flag Meaning and History

Perhaps one of the best-known symbols of Ireland is the Irish flag. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why the flag of the Republic of Ireland is called the tricolorThe Irish flag consists of three different colors. The flag is a rectangle with three broad vertical stripes in the colors green, white, and orange.

Whenever the flag is flown, it is always flown such that the green stripe is closest to the flagpole. Each band is required to be of the same proportions, and the overall size of the Irish flag should be proportionately double its height. There is no question that each of the three colors on the Irish flag represents something significant.

Meaning of the Irish Flag Colors

What do the different colors on the Irish flag represent and what do they stand for? This is perhaps the topic that comes up the most frequently when people ask us about the Irish flag.

The color green is associated with Roman Catholics. On Saint Patrick’s Day, did you happen to notice how many people were wearing emerald or shamrock green? Orange is the color associated with Irish Presbyterians. Because of their allegiance to the protestant William of Orange, King William III of England, they are popularly referred to as “Orangemen,”, particularly on the Northern Irish side of the border. This moniker originated in Northern Ireland. The yearning for unity and peace between the two communities is represented by the single white stripe in the center of the flag. During this time when the Irish tricolor was first flown, the country was deeply divided between Catholics and Protestants.

A Wee Bit O Irish Flag History

The history of the flag that represents Ireland is a fascinating one. The present version of the Irish tricolor was conceived of and created by a collective of French ladies who were sympathetic to the Irish struggle.

They gave Thomas Francis Meagher, who was the head of the political Irish Nationalist Movement at the time, the tricolor in the year 1848. Meagher was the face of the movement at the time.  When he was presented with the flag, he is reputed to have made the following statement: “The white in the center signifies a lasting truce between Orange and Green and I trust that beneath its folds the hands of Irish Protestants and Irish Catholics may be clasped in generous and heroic brotherhood.”

When Meagher hoisted the tricolor in Waterford, it proudly fluttered for eight days and nights until it was brought down by the British. Meagher was responsible for hanging the flag.

The uprisings that occurred across Europe in 1848 served as an inspiration for Meagher and the other members of the Young Irelanders. In April of 1848, a group of them went to France to offer their congratulations to the revolutionaries there on the successful toppling of King Louis Philippe I. There, Meagher was given a tricolor Irish flag that had been fashioned out of French silk as a gift.

The Irish Flag did not appear in Dublin until Gearóid O’Sullivan raised the tricolor for the first time at Dublin’s General Post Office in 1916, during the Easter Rebellion. Prior to that, the flag had not been flown there since 1848.

It encapsulated the spirit of the revolutionary cause, and from that point on, the tricolor was considered to be the flag of the Republic of Ireland or Sinn Féin. Even though the flag of Ireland was flown proudly across the land from that point forward, it wasn’t until 1937 that it was given constitutional recognition as Ireland’s official national flag.

The official name for the flag that flies over Ireland.

Bratach na hÉireann is the Irish term for the tricolor flag and ensign, “bratach” being the Irish word for flag. This name was given to the flag and ensign by the Irish.

What does it mean when you see the Irish flag?

The following is the simple and clear interpretation of the Irish flag color meaning:

  • Green: Roman Catholics are represented by the color green.
  • White: The color white stands for the harmony and concord that both of these parties are hoping to achieve.
  • Orange: Orange is the color that signifies the Irish Protestants.

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A Guide To 12 Infamous Celtic Gods And Goddesses

The ancient Celtic mythology included more than 400 Celtic gods and goddesses, and their roles ranged from presiding over rivers to leading armies into battle. Worship of the Celtic gods was not widespread throughout Europe throughout the Iron Age, with the possible exception of Lugh. Instead, it was often confined to only a few provinces or a particular area.

Who are some of the most well-known gods and goddesses from Celtic mythology?

The legends that accompany each god and goddess of Celtic mythology are rich and varied, and often include tales of conflict, tragedy, and the exercise of supernatural or magical abilities.

Dagda – the good god…

Dagda is considered to be among the ‘good’ gods of Celtic folklore. He plays a significant role in Celtic mythology as a father figure. He is the father of Aengus, Bodb Derg, Cermait, Midir, and Brigit. His other children’s names are Midir and Brigit. In ancient times, Dagda presided over the powerful Tuatha Dé Danann clan of Celtic gods, which was said to travel all throughout the island of Ireland.

It is reported that Dagda possessed a number of potent weapons, one of which is a massive club that could kill ten people with a single strike. It also has the ability to bring the dead back to life. In addition, he possessed a cauldron that could be used to produce food and a harp that could be used to call the changing of the seasons. One of Dagda’s numerous lovers was the powerful Morrigan, the Celtic goddess of battle and fate. Dagda also had many more lovers.

Brigid – the enlightened one

There are still many people in Ireland who celebrate Saint Brigid’s Day. St. Brigid’s Day, also known as Imbolc, is observed beginning in the evening of February 1 and continuing through the evening of February 2. It is considered to be the first day of spring.

As a result, Brigid is recognized as one of the most popular Celtic goddesses in modern-day Ireland. Brigid is revered as the goddess of life, as well as springtime and fertility. She is also known as a skilled healer and poet. Brigid was a Celtic goddess who presided over the arts of poetry and prophecy, as well as healing, agriculture, and the element of fire. In reality, she was a member of the Tuatha de Danann and her father was Dagda.

It is thought that Brigid had a few domesticated animals at her home, including sheep, cats, and oxen among other creatures. Brigid was famous for three different facets of her life: as a poet, a healer, and a blacksmith. Some people think that Brigid was actually three gods in one.

Danu – the mother goddess…

Danu is one of the first legendary entities that have been associated with Ireland. This Celtic Goddess is typically shown as a stunning lady, and she is frequently linked to aspects of the natural world.

Danu is revered by her people as the embodiment of the holy mother (the tribe of Celtic Gods). Additionally, she embodies concepts related to rebirth, enlightenment, the afterlife, and wealth. Concerning the historical aspect of the situation, Danu was not only an important Celtic God in Ireland; her fame won her respect in Britain as well as in other parts of the world.

Lugh – a warrior god

In the Mythology of the Celts, this sun god of all trades and arts was indeed a prominent deity among the Celtic gods and goddesses, despite the fact that God Lugh was only sometimes referenced in inscriptions. Lugh was frequently depicted with his magic spear, Gae Assail, as well as his helmet and armor. He was also associated with ravens and thunderstorms. He was a fierce fighter who was responsible for the death of the one-eyed chief of the Formorii, the legendary Balor. One of the most celebrated heroes in Irish mythology was a warrior named Cuchulainn, and Lugh is said to have been his godfather, according to the tradition.

Badb – the Celtic Goddess of enlightenment…

Badb, the Celtic Goddess, was also thought to be a supernatural monster. She was Ernmas’ daughter and was revered by the Celts. According to Celtic eschatology, Badb is the one who will bring about the destruction of the world. According to the tale, she had the ability to foretell the destruction of the gods as well as the Great Famine that occurred in the 19th century. In Celtic mythology, the word “Crow” refers to Badb, who was also a goddess and whose name means “Crow.” Badb was the patroness of illumination, inspiration, life, and knowledge.

The Morrigan – the goddess of war

Morrigan, also known as the “Phantom Queen,” is revered as a potent female divinity who is linked with both the afterlife and the course of one’s life. The Morrigan is depicted in stories as both a singular being and a celestial triad consisting of three sisters who had the ability to morph into shrieking crows. The sight of the Morrigan was frequently seen as a warning that a soldier’s brutal end was near. As a result, the banshee figure from Irish legend is connected to her in some way.

The Morrigan is not only renowned as the Phantom Queen in Celtic mythology but she is also referred to as the “Goddess of War” and the “Queen of Demons.” According to the myth, she appeared on the battlefield in the appearance of a crow or a raven and watched over the action. The Morrigan was also capable of predicting who would emerge victorious from the conflict. She materialized in front of Cuchulainn, but he was unable to recognize her at first glance. Shortly after, C Chulainn was killed in a conflict. After he passed away, the Morrigan took the appearance of a bird and perched itself on his shoulder.

Cu Chulainn – the champion of Ulster

C Chulainn was the legendary hero of the Ulster Cycle in Irish mythology. He was also known by his original name, Setanta. Because he participated in so many fights, C Chulainn should be remembered as a valiant warrior by a great number of people. Cuchulainn was the protector of Ulster, and even today, he is considered to be the most well-known folk hero in all of Ireland. His deeds were valiant; yet, as indicated before, Cuchulainn was not able to recognize the goddess of battle, which ultimately led to his death. Many people know him as a warrior who gained his skills by training in Ireland and Scotland and went on to become one of the most formidable competitors of his era. Imagine him as Ireland’s version of the Greek hero Achilles.

Cailleach – the veiled One

Cailleach was also known as the Hag of Béara, and she possessed a really amazing power, which was the ability to control the weather as well as the seasons. Her legend is connected to the regions of Cork and Kerry, where she is said to have lived when she was one of the most powerful and oldest mythological entities in Ireland. According to the folklore, Cailleach took the shape of an elderly woman and was responsible for the development of several mountain landmarks in Ireland, including the Cliffs of Moher and Hag’s Head.

Cernunnos – the god of wild things…

Cernunnos is revered by a large number of people as the “god of wild creatures.” He was frequently considered to be the embodiment of nature. Julius Caesar linked the Celtic god Cernunnos with the Roman god Dis Pater, who represented the underworld.

Cernunnos was a horned god who was connected to nature, grain, riches, and creatures that had horns. Julius Caesar linked this fabled figure with the Roman god of the underworld, Dis Pater, and the Druids referred to him as the Honored God. Cernunnos held a reverence for a great variety of creatures, including horned serpents, bulls, stags, and ran. The fact that he is shown in ancient Celtic art as sitting nude in the lotus pose with either horns or antlers perched on his head is an interesting fact.

Aengus – the romantic…

The river goddess Bionn gave birth to Aengus, who was the son of the Dagda. He was the all-powerful deity of youth and love, and he was also known by the names Angus and Oengus of the Bruig. The tale of Aengus tells us how he traveled the length and breadth of the land in quest of a lovely young woman. He was fortunate enough to find one, and he decided to call her Caer. Since she was destined to become a swan along with the other 150 maidens, Aengus made the decision to change into a swan himself so that he may be united with the woman who had been the love of his life.

Medb Queen of Connacht

In Celtic legend, Medb, sometimes known as Maeve, was the queen of Connacht and the ruler of the western part of Ireland. As a powerful leader, she eventually came to govern a large portion of the island, and she frequently came into confrontation with the legendary hero of Ulster, Cu Chulainn.

Medb had a large number of partners, and she expected the same three things from each of her marriages and suitors. These were the fact that they do not feel fear, animosity, or jealousy toward her in any way. She was worshiped as a deity representing absolute power.

Eriu or Eire – the goddess of Ireland

It was impossible to compile a list of ancient Celtic gods and goddesses without including Eire, who is the personification of Ireland. After the Tuatha Dé Danann’s victory against the Milesians, Eire and her two sisters traveled to meet the victors, which is one of the reasons why Eire has come to represent their heritage. In exchange, they proposed to honor her by naming a nation after her.

Who are the best-known Celtic Mythology Gods?

Although there are a great number of gods and goddesses that are well known, DagdaBrigid, and Queen Mebh are probably the gods and goddesses that are the most well-known in modern times. In our expert opinion, the best-known Celtic Gods are as follows.

  • Brigid
  • Queen Mebh
  • Lugh
  • Badb
  • Dagda

Is there a Celtic Gods and Goddesses list?

  • Brigid
  • The Cailleach
  • Aengus
  • Queen Medb
  • Cernunnos
  • Cu Chulainn
  • The Morrigan
  • Badb
  • Lugh
  • Danu
  • Dagda

Who were the Tuatha de Dannan?

In Irish mythology, the Tuatha dé Dannan were a magical race of people who lived in Ireland before any of our Irish ancestors ever came to the island. This is according to the legends that have been passed down from generation to generation. According to the urban legend on the googleeeeeeeee, the progenitors of the magical race are said to be alive and well now in the shape of fantastic creatures.

Next

 The Meanings Behind Some Common Irish Proverbs

Related Posts

  1. The Irish Legend of the Banshee
  2. Quick Guide to Irish Fairies
  3. Imbolc – Saint Brigid’s Day February 1st
  4. St. Brigid Blessings and Prayers
  5. The Advanced Guide to 10 Surprising Facts About Emeralds
Ireland, Irish Legends, Irish Traditions, Travel Ireland

The Book of Kells: Everything You Need to Know

Ireland’s Republic of Ireland’s County Meath has the little town of Kells. The four New Testament gospels are included in the Book of Kells, also known as the Book of Columba, along with additional manuscripts.

The book’s uniqueness comes from the fact that it is an illuminated manuscript with intricate graphics and pictures that are thought to have been created around the year 800 AD.

Although it is not Irish writing, the illuminated manuscript known as the Book of Kells is recognized as a priceless piece of Irish history and may be found in Dublin, Ireland’s Trinity College Library.

ORIGIN OF THE ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT CALLED THE BOOK OF KELLS

While it is generally agreed that the monks of St. Columba were responsible for producing the Book of Kells, there is great disagreement as to where exactly they did it. It is thought that it was written by Celtic monks at the monastery’s scriptorium on the island of Iona, part of the Mull chain in western Scotland. Saint Columcille of Donegal established this monastery.

The Lindisfarne Gospels were written in Iona around 700 AD, and the Book of Kells’ design resembles those works, suggesting that Iona rather than Kells was where it was written. Viking invasions of coastal monasteries were a possibility around the start of the ninth century. The majority of this book is said to have been written on Iona and carried back to the Abbey of Kells for preservation.

The relics of Columcille have reportedly transported to Kells from his home County Donegal in the year 1090 AD, according to the Annals of Tigernach, another ancient Irish chronicle.

Two gospels were found among these artifacts, one of which was presumably the Book of Kells. The Book of Durrow is supposed to have been the second gospel. The church at Kells was destroyed in 1641 as a result of an Irish uprising. The English governor of Kells sent the book to Dublin for storage sometime around 1653.

A few years later, Henry Jones, a former soldier in Cromwell’s army, is said to have helped bring the Book of Kells to Trinity College. The Long Room of the Old Library at Trinity College is where you may discover this masterpiece today in Dublin, Ireland. The 340 folios or leaves, each made of calfskin vellum, are bound together in a book that is around thirteen inches broad and ten inches thick. Although this might look substantial, the original was significantly bigger. But over time, thirty folios were lost, and even the ones that were still there had to be reduced for upkeep and rebinding.

Why Was the Book of Kells Created?

The book’s purpose was more ceremonial than practical, despite binding the gospels’ material together. It wasn’t intended to be read during mass. The creation and presentation of the material within the book itself are one of the main justifications for this notion. The text itself is haphazardly scrawled and scattered throughout the pages, in contrast to the carefully thought out and executed images and illustrations.

There is word and paragraph duplication, the omission of crucial phrases, and a lack of attempt to fix these serious mistakes. This book was admired for its decorations and exquisite pictures, not for its content.

The book’s authors appear to prefer the artwork and illustrations above the readings. In a nutshell, the appearance and aesthetics of the book took precedence over its practical utility.

What is the Vulgate?

The fourth-century Latin Vulgate is a translation of the Bible. According to legend, the gospels of the new testament were transferred directly from the Vulgate into the Book of Kells. However, as was already said, the scribes’ compositions were erratic and haphazard. There is the suggestion that they relied on their own memory of what they had previously read rather than copying their lines verbatim from the Vulgate.

The book has additional material in addition to the text, and each page of prose is accompanied by an image. These images feature meticulous details and vivid hues such, among others, purple, pink, green, and yellow.

The Book has Irish-Celtic themes and initials that were influenced by the Hiberno-Saxon style of the 7th century. Along with this, there is also the Anglo-Saxon custom of vibrant color and upbeat compositions. What distinguishes the book are its intricate designs and exquisite craftsmanship.

The illuminations are also another striking element of the book. They span 10 full pages and show small images of evangelical symbols. Some of these portrayals have survived.

The canon tables are given their own elaborately decorated pages in the Book of Kells, which may be found in Ireland. You will discover the emblems that represent each of the four evangelists, with Matthew being shown as a Man, Mark being represented by the Lion, Luke being linked to the Calf, and John being given the Eagle as his emblem.

Additionally discovered are the introductory passages of each of the Gospels. Breves causae are the names given to these condensed versions of the gospel tales. The Vulgate, which was finished by Saint Jerome in 384 AD, serves as the basis for this work, which is written in Latin and is dedicated to the four Gospels. There is also a picture of Christ, in addition to creative depictions of the Virgin Mary and the Christ Child.

The Book of Kells is Written on Vellum

Vellum, which was made from the skins of around 185 animals, was used rather than paper for the writing in the Book of Kells. The monks who lived in Ireland’s monasteries managed large herds of cattle not just to supply milk and food for themselves, but also as a source of vellum, which was the principal writing medium that the monks used. Following the hand stitching that was used to bind the vellum pages together, a protective cover was created out of either leather or wood.

The text of the book is written in an italicized script that is referred to as “insular majuscule.” The intricate knotwork and links that can be found in the images are well-known for the complexity of their design and the attention to detail that went into creating them. It is likely that the book was initially kept in a shrine, which is a jewel-encrusted casing made of gold that is used to contain treasures. Around the year 1000 A.D., the volumes were taken by thieves. It had been buried beneath the ground when it was discovered, but the priceless holder it had been holding was never found.

During the nineteenth century, the book went through a process called “rebinding,” during which the page margins were, regrettably, trimmed and gilded. In 1953, the book underwent yet another rebinding, which resulted in the creation of four distinct volumes. This was done with the intention of assisting in the preservation of its magnificent and rare pages. Two of the four volumes are currently on exhibit at Trinity College in Dublin, where they will remain there indefinitely. The first book has pages of text, whereas the second volume is solely dedicated to displaying illustrations on its pages.

The Book of Kells is an Irish Treasure

The Book of Kells was the most valuable artifact in all of medieval Europe. The Book of Kells is a stunning example of Irish artwork and is considered to be a national treasure. Each year, hundreds of people travel to the Trinity College Library in Dublin in the hope of catching a sight of the two volumes that are kept on exhibit there.

Irish Legends

Myths and Origins of Fairies

Fairies and Dragonflies

Those who say that fairies are myth do not exist almost often provide a rationale grounded in science to support their position. Although there are many things that have been shown by science, it would be irresponsible of us (not to mention egotistical) to presume that we have solved even a small portion of the mysteries that exist in the cosmos. If you are convinced in your belief that fairies do not exist, you are likely to be astonished to hear that many individuals do not share your viewpoint.

According to the findings of a survey conducted by the Eastern Virginia Medical School, nearly two-thirds of the population in the United States has mentioned having a profound experience that they were unable to simply explain. Five-fifths of the individuals polled in Iceland in the year 1970 said that elves either definitely existed or there was at the very least a significant likelihood that they did. It is important to point out that the majority of people have a limited conception of what “fairies” are, which is a problem that we are going to address in the next sentence.

So What Exactly Are Fairies?

Because there is no one, unchanging definition for this concept, providing a response to this issue is not simple. It differs from culture to culture, with a great number of countries having their own own myths and legends. Let’s take a quick look at a few of the definitions, shall we?

Entities that Live on After Death
The well-known anthropologist W.Y. Evans-Wentz traveled to the Isle of Man, Ireland, the Scottish Highlands, Brittany, Wales, and Cornwall around the turn of the 18th century in order to collect tales about fairies from the local people he encountered. He discovered that the locals in these areas thought there was a significant link between fairies (also known as Fair Folk) and the departed souls of the deceased.

The Irish had the concept that fairies were the reincarnation souls of deceased people who had returned to earth to provide knowledge and warnings. In Wales, fairies were referred to as Tylwyth Teg. Unlike the traditional depiction of fairies, locals in Wales thought that these “ancestor” spirits stood more than 6 feet tall.

In Cornwall, fairies are individuals who were not thought to be nice enough to enter paradise but were also not believed to be evil enough to enter hell. They are shapeshifters, yet each of their transformations results in a diminution in their size.

Are Fairies Angels or Demons?
There is also the belief that fairies belong to the “lower end” of the heavenly hierarchies and that they have come to look over humanity. According to Carmina Gadelica, which was penned by Alexander Carmichael, the concept that fairies are “fallen angels” may be found in areas of Scotland where the Gaelic language is spoken.

The Legends and Folklore of Fairies
Even though the number of believers in fairies has significantly decreased since the beginning of the modern era, there are still a significant number of people who not only believe in these beings but also claim to have seen them; we will focus on the accounts of these sightings in the following sections.

At the turn of the 20th century, vast portions of rural Ireland and Britain had a firm believe in the existence of fairies. This fact may come as a surprise to you, since it is likely that you have never heard of it before. The word fairy originates from the Middle English word fay, which in turn comes from the archaic French word “feie.” This term originates from the Latin word “fata,” which means “fates.” The Fates were supernatural entities that were known to have a significant part in determining the outcomes of human lives.

There is a degree of obscurity around the beginnings of tales that include fairies. In the period before Christianity, there was a pervasive belief that fairies were treated as deities and worshiped as such. This belief was based on the fact that the ancient Celts had a tendency to worship nature, and that fairies are often connected with various aspects of the natural world. In the Victorian period, this notion was widely held, but contemporary anthropologists have shown that it is not supported by the evidence.

During the time of Chaucer and he and others who lived about the same time as him wrote about “faeries” in the 14th century. Authors of the time period believed that these entities have the ability to be enchanted and deceive others. It was widely believed that fairies resided either under the ground or in ancient cairns, fairy forts, and earth mounds. As a direct consequence of this, locations such as Fairy Hill, and Fairy Mound.

Irish Legends, St. Patricks Day, Travel Ireland

The Legend of the Irish Leprechaun

Leprechaun at night

The legend of the Leprechaun is one of the most famous stories in Ireland, and it refers to a magical kind of fairy that is initially tied to the Tuatha De Danann of Irish mythology. The Leprechaun is said to have been one of the first people to bring gold to Ireland.

Leprechauns are described in folklore as being little beings that often take the shape of an elderly gentleman dressed in a green or red cloak. They are known to be naughty little creatures who like to create shoes and save their gold money in a pot of gold that is buried at the end of a rainbow. You may find that precious pot of gold at the end of a rainbow but if you manage to catch a leprechaun, he will grant you three wishes as long as you set him free at the end of the day.

The Origin of the Leprechaun

The majority of tales concerning leprechauns may be traced back to accounts of water spirits from the eighth century that were referred to as “luchorpán,” which means “little body.” It is stated that these spirits fused with a house fairy and gained a taste for binge drinking as a result; hence, no basement was immune from their influence. According to the findings of other experts, the name “leprechaun” originates from the Irish word “leath brogan,” which may be translated as “shoemaker.”

It is interesting to notice that leprechauns are commonly linked with riches, namely gold coins. However, in reality, leprechauns are cobblers, which is not a profession that one would typically consider to be profitable. Despite this, the legend of the pot of gold lives on, and there are still some who try to find the long-lost treasure.

Pot with gold coins, hat and clover on green grass, space for text. St. Patrick’s Day celebration

The Leprechaun’s Pot of Gold

The story that leprechauns dig up pots full of gold money and hide them at the end of a rainbow is the one that is told the most often. According to this version of the legend, leprechauns locate gold coins buried in the ground and put them all in a pot. It’s better for the plot if you just ignore the fact that a rainbow doesn’t really start or stop anywhere specific.

Why leprechauns actually require gold is a very different question, given that they are unable to really spend it in any way. It has been hypothesized by some researchers that this gold is employed by leprechauns as a ruse to deceive people. Considering the Leprechauns’ fondness for pranks, this is not an implausible hypothesis at all.

In the majority of the Irish folktales that feature the Leprechaun, he is portrayed as a scoundrel who would trick people whenever he has the chance. When people do manage to trap leprechauns in stories, they are easily tricked by the magical creature since leprechauns typically take use of a person’s greed as a weapon against them. Even if you think you know everything there is to know about leprechauns, you might be surprised to learn some of the mysterious trickster’s background details.

Leprechauns in Popular Culture Today

The concept of leprechauns has been modernized, and the mythology itself now functions as something of a tourist attraction that brings a significant number of visitors from the United States, in particular, to Ireland. The image of the leprechaun has become so popular in the United States that it is used as the mascot for Notre Dame University and as the logo for Lucky Charms cereal. Of course, not everything having to do with leprechauns is amusing or especially classy, as seen by the dreadful leprechaun movies starring Warwick Davis. One example of this may be found in the previous sentence.
It is safe to assume that a sizable number of Irish people are aggravated by the negative racial stereotypes that are associated with leprechauns, however the folklore surrounding leprechauns does include a lesson that can be drawn from it. People should heed the warning and avoid participating in any “get rich fast” scams since it is common practice for them to con those who are looking for a pot of gold.

In addition, you shouldn’t try to grab what isn’t yours, and you shouldn’t meddle with things that are above your level of comprehension. In the end, we shouldn’t take the stories of the leprechaun too seriously; instead, we should let them entertain and pleasure us.

Leprechaun Facts

Did you know Leprechauns were first depicted as wearing red?

In popular culture, a Leprechaun is often portrayed as a guy who is dressed in all green at all times. Leprechauns, on the other hand, are depicted in Irish legend as men who dress in red and wear hats with three points at the top. In his book titled Legends and Stories of Ireland, which was published in 1831, Irish author Samuel Lover refers to leprechauns in this manner.

Did you know there are no female leprechauns?

The book “A History of Irish Fairies” written by Carolyn White claims that there is no evidence of any female Leprechauns ever having existed. This, of course, indicates that leprechauns defy the conventional rules of biology by virtue of the fact that they are still there, and there is no evidence that tells the tale of how they reproduce. According to the aforementioned text, Irish leprechauns are essentially the twisted offspring of fairies.

Did you know there is a town in County Louth that does a yearly Leprechaun search?

In spite of the fact that the Leprechaun is said to have been there for well over a thousand years, the most recent alleged sighting took place near 1989 in Carlingford, County Louth, and was reported by a bar owner named P.J. O’Hare. O’Hare claims that he was able to hear cries coming from a well and that he discovered the bones and clothes of a leprechaun, which are now on display at his tavern. The community currently has a Leprechaun search on an annual basis, with the goal being to locate plastic replicas of the legendary monster.

Did you know that under European Union legislation leprechauns are considered to be a protected species?

The Sliabh Foy Loop route near Carlingford has been designated as an official protected area for the 236 leprechauns who are believed to reside in Ireland. Local lobbyists, one of whom is Kevin Woods, a native of Carlingford, were successful in their efforts to persuade the European Union to safeguard the region, and as a result, it is now covered by the European Habitats Directive.