Eve of Bealtaine/Beltane

The Celtic Festival of Bealtaine/Beltane which marks the beginning of summer in the ancient Celtic calendar is a Cross Quarter Day, half way between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice. While the Bealtaine Festival is now associated with 1st May, the actual astronomical date is a number of days later. The festival was marked […]

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Wren Day, also known as Wren’s Day or the Day of the Wren (Lá an Dreoilín), celebrated on St Stephen’s Day.

The tradition is very much on the wane now but in some few localities Wrenboys still go out in Ireland on St. Stephens Day. The central theme of the wrenboy visit is the wren, an effigy of which is carried about in a holly branch or in a box or cage. Previously it was hunted […]

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How the Irish Influenced Christmas Traditions

In much the same way that the modern interpretation of Halloween descended from the Celtic pagan celebration of Samhain, several important pre-Christian Irish traditions have been incorporated into the winter holiday season. Prior to the introduction of Christianity during the early 5th century, Ireland was home to the Celts, a pagan civilisation which worshipped many […]

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History of Irish Dance

The history of Irish dance started when the Celts arrived in Ireland from central Europe over 2,000 years ago. They brought with them their individual styles of dances and music. There are vague references to the early history of Irish dancing but evidence shows that its first participants were the Gaels. They danced in religious […]

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Mystic Symbols

From the motion-within-stillness of the endless knot, constructed on principles of cosmic geometry, to the stark simplicity of the cup or cauldron, the Celts wove a web of symbols which remind us that there is a deep and sometimes hidden meaning in the everyday. Whether you wear a triskele around your neck, recite stories to […]

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Brehon Law: The Troscad

A method of exerting authority, available to all members of Celtic society, was the ritual fast, the troscad. As a legal form of redressing a grievance, this act emerged in the Brehon law system. That it was an ancient ritual can be demonstrated by the fact that it bears almost complete resemblance to the ancient […]

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The Kilnasaggart Pillar Stone

The Kilnasaggart Pillar Stone in Co Armagh is one of the oldest known inscribed stones in Ireland. Kilnasaggart stone stands in a field not far from Kilnasaggart Bridge. It is a tall pillar stone, 2 metres high, and inscribed with some Ogham script, crosses, most within circles, and a Gaelic inscription. The pillar-stone is said […]

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Eve of Bealtaine/Beltane

The Celtic Festival of Bealtaine/Beltane which marks the beginning of summer in the ancient Celtic calendar is a Cross Quarter Day, half way between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice. While the Bealtaine Festival is now associated with 1st May, the actual astronomical date is a number of days later. The festival was marked […]

Read More

Wren Day, also known as Wren’s Day or the Day of the Wren (Lá an Dreoilín), celebrated on St Stephen’s Day.

The tradition is very much on the wane now but in some few localities Wrenboys still go out in Ireland on St. Stephens Day. The central theme of the wrenboy visit is the wren, an effigy of which is carried about in a holly branch or in a box or cage. Previously it was hunted […]

Read More