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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#OTD in Irish History – 1 November (Samhain):

In the Liturgical Calendar, today is All Saints’ Day. 1625 – Birth of Archbishop of Armagh, St. Oliver Plunkett, near Oldcastle, Co Meath, who was canonised in 1975. 1688 – William III of Orange sets a second time from Hellevoetsluis in the Netherlands to liberate England, Scotland and Ireland from the tyrannical King James II […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 31 October:

Halloween/Samhain Eve/Oíche Shamhna. Samhain is a festival on the end of the harvest season in Gaelic culture, with aspects of a Festival of the Dead. It is popularly regarded as ‘The Celtic New Year’. The term derives from the name of a month in the ancient Celtic calendar, in particular the first three nights of […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 30 October:

1751 – Birth in Dublin of dramatist and orator, Richard Brinsley Sheridan. 1816 – Sir Richard Quain, physician to Queen Victoria, is born in Mallow, Co Cork. 1846 – Cork Examiner reports death by starvation. 1865 – Birth of Rose Maud Young (Róis Ní Ógáin) at Galgorm House, Ballymena, Co Antrim. She was educated at […]

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History of Pumpkin Carving and Samhain (Halloween)

Without a doubt the most recognisable symbol of Halloween is a pumpkin carved into a jack-o-lantern. To understand the origins of how pumpkin carving began and what it really means we must first take a look at the Halloween itself. For most of the general population it is known as Halloween and is a night […]

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Samhain and Irish Mythology

Irish mythology was originally a spoken tradition, but much of it was eventually written down in the Middle Ages by Christian monks, who Christianised it to some extent. Nevertheless, these tales may shed some light on what Samhain meant and how it was marked in ancient Ireland. Irish mythology tells us that Samhain was one […]

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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 […]

Read More

#OTD in Irish History – 1 November (Samhain):

In the Liturgical Calendar, today is All Saints’ Day. 1625 – Birth of Archbishop of Armagh, St. Oliver Plunkett, near Oldcastle, Co Meath, who was canonised in 1975. 1688 – William III of Orange sets a second time from Hellevoetsluis in the Netherlands to liberate England, Scotland and Ireland from the tyrannical King James II […]

Read More

#OTD in Irish History – 31 October:

Halloween/Samhain Eve/Oíche Shamhna. Samhain is a festival on the end of the harvest season in Gaelic culture, with aspects of a Festival of the Dead. It is popularly regarded as ‘The Celtic New Year’. The term derives from the name of a month in the ancient Celtic calendar, in particular the first three nights of […]

Read More