Celtic Legends, Halloween, Interesting Stories

The Halloween Samhain Bonfire in Ireland

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THE BONFIRE

The Halloween Superstition says the bonfire is an Irish tradition to encourage dreams of who your future husband or wife is going to be. The idea was to drop a cutting of your hair into the burning embers and then dream of you future loved one.

Halloween was one of the Celt ‘fire’ celebrations. The bonfire has long been associated with Halloween and continues to be a common tradition in much of the Halloween celebrating world.

The ancient practice of lighting large fires dates back to the festival of Samhain  now known as Halloween. It is the celebration of summer’s end and the beginning of the dark season or winter. Samhain marks the end of the harvest and the old year. It is also the beginning of the new year and up coming harvest season . On the eve of Samhain, young people would go from house to house asking for offerings of food and kindling for the Samhain bonfires fires. The following day, the traditional day of Samhain, November 1st, people would extinguish their hearth fires and gather together to light large fires on sacred hill tops in honor of and to make offerings to the gods.

 

Celtic Legends, Halloween, Interesting Stories

The Dullahan – The Irish Headless Horseman

The Irish legend of the Dullahan, or English translation “dark man” is unnerving. The Headless Horseman or Dullahan is the Irishdullahan the irish jewelry company foreteller of death. The Dullahan rides a jet black horse with flames shooting from its eyes, carrying his head under one arm. Irish folklore says that when he stops riding, a human dies.


There are many versions of this scary tale. Some say that the Dullahan throws buckets of blood at people he passes, while other say he simply calls out the name of the mortal that will soon die.
But as with most evil entities the Dullahan has a weakness. The Dullahan can not stand the sight of GOLD. So you would be wise when traveling on this Halloween to carry a wee bit of in case you have a run-in with this headless horror!

Celtic Legends, Interesting Stories, News

Grace O’Malley, the 16th Century Pirate Queen of Ireland…

In-honor of International Talk Like a Pirate Day….

Grace O’Malley was born in Ireland in around 1530. She was the daughter of Owen O’Malley. O’malley was a wealthy nobleman and sea trader. WhenO’Malley died Grace inherited his large shipping and trading business. Grace O’Malley commanded a dozen ships and thousands of men. Grace’s vast empire of ships stretched from Connaught on the Irish coast to Africa. Through the daring of her piracy, Grace nearly bankrupted the English treasury-and her outright defiance brought embarrassment to Queen Elizabeth I.

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International Talk Like a Pirate Day or ITLAPD is on September 19. It is a parodic holiday created in 1995 by John Baur (Ol’ Chumbucket) and Mark Summers (Cap’n Slappy), of Albany, Oregon, U.S., who proclaimed September 19 each year as the day when everyone in the world should talk like a pirate. Arghhhhh!

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Celtic Legends, Irish Jewelry

The Wild Irish Rose Jewelry Collection

Wild Irish Rose

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Like the song says…..

“My Wild Irish Rose, The sweetest flower that grows. You may search everywhere, But none can compare with My Wild Irish Rose” Excerpt from the song My Wild Irish Rose written by Chauncey Olcott.

Wild Irish Rose Necklace

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The Wild Irish Rose jewelry collection is a celebration of the sturdy, self-reliant and gorgeous Irish women past, present and future. This brilliant Wild Irish Rose necklace is absolutely beautiful in two toned rose gold and silver. It the perfect symbol of beauty for any Irish women wild at heart. Do you know a Wild Irish Rose?

Wild Irish Rose Earrings

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The Wild Irish Rose jewelry collection is a celebration of the sturdy, self-reliant and gorgeous Irish women past, present and future. These brilliant Wild Irish Rose earrings are absolutely beautiful in two toned rose gold and silver. They are the perfect symbol of beauty for any Irish women wild at heart. Do you know a Wild Irish Rose?

Celtic Holidays, Celtic Legends, Irish Traditions

St. Brigid’s Day, February 1st…

St. Brigid of Ireland was born the beautiful daughter of a powerful Irish Chieftain. St. Bridget or also spelled Brigid became a nun. She renounced her beauty, praying to become ugly, so her many suitors would be turned away and was completely devoted to relieving the misery and hardship of the poor. The traditional woven cross is said to have originated during a visit St. Bridget made to a dying Chieftain in which she wove it from rushes on the floor to show the significance of Christian faith. The woven rush cross has become synonymous with St. Bridget. St. Brigid of Kildare is the Patron Saint of Ireland, new born babies and of children with unmarried parents.

“Did you know that couples in Ireland could legally marry on St. Brigid’s Day, February 1st, in County Meath. As recently as the 1920s, they just had to walk toward each other. If the marriage didn’t work out, they could divorce by walking away from each other at the same spot on St. Bridid’s Day the following year.”

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Celtic Legends, St. Valentine's Day

The Legend of Saint Valentine

In ancient Rome, the date February 14th was a holiday to honor the Roman Goddess of women and marriage. The next day was celebrated as the pagan Roman Feast of Lupercalia. During this time in Roman history, young adults were strictly segregated by sex. No surprise, it was 269 AD. Eventually they needed to give their hormones a chance to flourish. So it was customary on the eve of the feast of Lupercalia for young men and woman to be partnered for the feast by the men picking the girls’ names from a jar. Sometimes the pairing lasted for a year and with the young couples falling romantically in love and eventually marring. It was all very sexist in a provocative way.

Unfortunately, this didn’t last for long. This euphoric ritual of hormonal teenage partnering would come to an abrupt end during the tyrannical rule of Emperor Claudius II, also known as Claudius the cruel. Emperor Claudius had Rome fighting in many bloody and unpopular battles and was having grave difficulty recruiting soldiers to sustain his military forces. In his warped mind, Claudius believed the reason he couldn’t get soldiers was due to women. He convinced himself that the men’s love of his family, wife, or girlfriend prevented them from leaving there side and joining the military. It had nothing to do with the little matter that they didn’t want to die a savage death for an Emperor they despised.

Fun-loving Emperor Claudius proceeded to cancel all pending and future marriages and engagements in Rome. Claudius then made it a crime punishable by death to associate with Christians.

Legend has it, no doubt a wee bit embellished if not entirely fictional, that Valentine was stricken with the unbearable belief that many young souls would be destined to be sinners. So Valentine, a roman priest, married young lovers against Claudius’s decree in secrecy. He was of course apprehended and condemned to death for his deeds. He suffered martyrdom on the 14th day of February, in either 269 AD or 270 AD. Nobody really knows what yearly exactly, but they know the date was February 14th, now known as Valentine’s Day.

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Celtic Jewelry, Celtic Legends, Claddagh Rings, Interesting Stories, Irish Traditions, St. Valentine's Day

The Meaning of the Claddagh

The Irish Claddagh pronounced [klah-duh] is called a fáinne Chladaigh in Irish. The traditional Irish Claddagh ring is a symbol of friendship, love and loyalty. The hands of the claddagh ring stand for friendship. The heart of the claddagh ring stands for love and the crown is a symbol of loyalty. The Claddagh has actually been worn since Roman times! The beautiful meaning of the claddagh ring has made the claddagh ring a celebrated romantic gift for people of all nationalities. But none can argue that the claddagh rings holds a rather special meaning to those romantics of Irish heritage. hp claddagh ring 700x240

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Celtic Legends, Interesting Stories, Irish Traditions

Celtic Butterflies

The symbolic meaning of the butterfly is similar amongst many cultures throughout time. This delicate Celtic butterfly is a symbol transformation, inspiration, and rebirth. The rebirth is an important belief of the Celts both in the spiritual and physical realms. The butterfly in its miraculous way symbolizes transformation and rebirth. Celtic woman were uniquely aware of nature and would have be keenly aware of a butterflies metamorphosis.

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Celtic Legends, Halloween

The Banshee

220px-BansheeThe Banshee,  bean-sidhe (woman of the fairy may be an ancestral spirit appointed to forewarn members of certain ancient Irish families of their time of death. According to tradition, the banshee can only cry for five major Irish families: the O’Neills, the O’Briens, the O’Connors, the O’Gradys and the Kavanaghs. Intermarriage has since extended this select list.
Whatever her origins, the banshee chiefly appears in one of three guises: a young woman, a stately matron or a raddled old hag. These represent the triple aspects of the Celtic goddess of war and death, namely Badhbh, Macha and Mor-Rioghain.) She usually wears either a grey, hooded cloak or the winding sheet or grave robe of the unshriven dead. She may also appear as a washer-woman, and is seen apparently washing the blood stained clothes of those who are about to die. In this guise she is known as the bean-nighe (washing woman).
Although not always seen, her mourning call is heard, usually at night when someone is about to die.

Celtic Legends, Halloween

The Celtic Owl

The word “cailleach” in the Scottish-Gaelic means old woman!, Owl in Gaelic is “cauileach-oidhche” , believe it or not it means “night-cockerel” or “white old woman of the night.” Because the owl was most often associated with the Crone aspect of the Celtic Hag Goddess “Cailleach”. The owl is often a guide to and through the Underworld, a creature of keen sight in darkness, and a silent and swift hunter. Celtic folklore says the wise owl can give you wisdom by helping unmask those who would deceive you or take advantage of you. “Hoo” knew?

Our Celtic Owl pendant and earrings with diamond eyes are fierce creatures, wise and omniscient, not to mention ultra-trendy and stylish. These fashionable nocturnal birds are a ‘hoot’ to wear day or night of course.

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