Spring Equinox in the Ancient Irish Calendar | 20 March 2019

Equinox is the date (or moment) some astronomical alignments in Ireland mark as being auspicious. Not many, mind you, but some, like the cairn on Loughcrew or the two passages of Knowth, a sort of super-alignment with quadruple significance. Though the actual alignment of Knowth is disputed, it might be a lunar alignment or not […]

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#OTD – In the old Celtic calendar, today is Sheelah’s Day.

In the old Celtic calendar, today is Sheelah’s Day. In ancient Ireland, it was an annual festival to honour the fertility Goddess known as Sheela-na-gig. Naked Sheela-na-gig figures appeared in Irish churches constructed before the 16th century, but most were defaced or destroyed during the prudish Victorian age. According to some sources, the origins of […]

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Bechbretha | Brehon Law on Beekeeping

In ancient Ireland, beekeeping was so important that there was a complete list of laws dedicated to beekeeping, called  ‘Bechbretha’, during the time of our Brehon laws. In the seventh century AD the laws were written down for the first time. Brehon law was administered by Brehons, or ‘brithem’ derived from the Irish ‘breitheamh’ meaning […]

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#OTD in 1835 – The coffin of mummy, Takabuti, was opened and the unrolled in Belfast Natural History Society’s museum at College Square North. 

Takabuti was the first Egyptian mummy to be brought to Ireland. After the Napoleonic Wars there was a brisk trade in Egyptian mummies. She was brought to Belfast in 1834 by Thomas Greg of Ballymenoch House, Holywood, Co Down. Her hieroglyphs were deciphered by the a leading Egyptologist from Ireland, Dr Edward Hincks, of Killyleagh, […]

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