The Celtic calendar was divided into 4 sections with each new section starting with a festival, it was a lunar calendar that was used to predict crop growth. Samhain (winter months), Imbolc (spring months), Bealtaine (Summer months) and Lughnasa (Autumn months). Samhain was the start of the year since the celts believed that life grows out of darkness. On the day of Samhain celts believed that the gates of the Otherworld were open and that people could most easily communicate with their ancestors but also a time where evil spirits could do the most damage, it's these evil spirits that the celts believed killed the growth of crops and berry bushes and brought the dark winter. The next festival was Imbolc, this festival was to mark the start of the growing season, where lambs and calves were born and first growth of berries. Brigid (the goddess that inspirited the story of the Saint) was an important part of this festival as she was strongly associated with fertility. Then came Bealtaine, the summer festival, here marked the start of summer and the warm weather. The celts use to light big bonfires and drive their cattle between them in celebration of the glowing sun. Then came Lughnasa, possibly the most important festival, this autumn festival was used to mark the start of harvest season. The day was marked with many festivals and fairs and also included the climbing of tall mountains to honour Lugh. Lugh, who the festival is named after was the harvest and solar god of the Tuatha Dé Danann. All of these festivals are still celebrated, but just in different names. Samhain became Halloween, Imbolc became Saint Brigid's day, Bealtaine into May Day and Lughnasa became Reek Sunday. Next time you see a Wiccan trying to make the Celtic calendar into 6 parts so they can have a cool and edgy looking pentagram on their calendar, show them this post! #ireland#irish#celtic#mythology#pagan#paganism#irishhistory#irishmythology#celticmythology#irishpaganism#hilloftara#dolmen#megalith#ironage#passagetomb#folk#folklore#folklife#tuathadedanann#samhain#bealtaine#folkscenery#megalithic#newgrange#stonecircle#neolithic#traditionalism#lughnasadh#imbolc
A Hawthorn Blossom
by Albert Ernest Stafford Smythe
I REMEMBER well
I wished, and she also — my Mary,
If the thorn above us were fairy,
That I were the king and she queen
Of the elves of the thorn on the green
As the star fell.
And then I can tell
How I pulled two sprays of the flowers,
One was hers, one was mine: they were ours.
All the rest we left for the elves;
We only took those for ourselves
As the star fell.
Alas! it befell
The life of her spray and mine faded,
And the scent was lost that had laded
The air, and all died that was fair!
I grieve as I think when I dare
How my star fell.
Down into the dell
To the hawthorn I often wander;
On the grass I kneel, and I ponder;
Does she reign as an elf-queen bright
As she reigned in my heart that night
When the star fell?
Will the mist dispel?
May I look on the royal splendour
That her fairy subjects lend her?
Shall we wish together again
Shall we wish together as then
When the star fell?
Or will fate compel
My lot to be always lonely,
Remembering happiness only?
Will but half of our wish come true
If I wish again need I rue
That a star fell?
“Icons are seen as windows through which the next world shines.” ~ Fr Anthony Keane, Glenstal Abbey, Murroe, Co. Limerick, Ireland ~ One of the places we'll visit on our #bealtaine#blossoms tour next May. We'll wander the abbey grounds and surrounding forests and glens with Tree expert Fr. Anthony Keane and have him introduce us to the amazing community of trees that live there. Fr Anthony speaks of the trees with such wisdom and heart it's truly enchanting to learn with him #wildroutesireland#treesofireland#treewisdom#treeguardian . www.wildroutesireland.com
On Bealtaine (Celtic summer festival) morning (May 1st) one tradition is to wash your face with the morning dew to wash away any mask that is hiding your true essence to allow your inner beauty to shine. As we enter the Summer Solstice, I am reflecting on this teaching that had a great impact on my life decisions in this season up to now. I really questioned what masks I was wearing and took them off in many ways. The summer solstice seems to be about celebrating the flowers that have bloomed from the seeds planted in seasons past so I'm looking forward to these celebrations and more unmasking #occupyingnativeland#TurtleIsland#Ireland#Bealtaine#SummerSolstice#CelticSeasons#SensitiveTcal
This picture of me was taken by @sweetenedvoices77 at The Bealtaine fire ceremony at Uisneach. It was an honour to be there whilst history was being made. The President of Ireland Michael D Higgins lit the fire that night. The first time in over 1,000 years since a head of state lit the Bealtaine Fire. The ancestors were present that night. Thank you for the capture Teresa 🙏#reginaoftheland#uisneach#bealtaine
Here's our Pamela with Geraldine Plunkett. You may recognise her from our box office team. On Friday night she joined a cast of volunteers to perform in Creaking by Noelle Brown. Was great fun and a definite #bealtainefest highlight!