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Samhain - How an Ancient Celtic Festival Became the Halloween Holiday

Samhain - How an Ancient Celtic Festival Became the Halloween Holiday

Halloween is celebrated all across the world - a celebration of all things creepy as we ease ourselves in the dark, cold nights of winter. But many of the traditions such as fancy dress, the ghosts and ghouls, and the tricks and treats come from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, which was celebrated at the of October; a time marking summer’s end (from which the name comes), the end of the harvest, and the beginning of the dark half of the year. The cattle were returned from summer grazing, and with crops harvested and fresh meat, Samhain was a time of great feasting before the cold, harsh winter set in. It was thought that as we approach the dark half of the year, the boundary between our world and the Otherworld was at its weakest, allowing fairies and other creatures to enter this world and cause havoc. To prevent the evils of the Otherworld affecting you, people engaged in many different protective rituals, devised to appease the fairy folk…

Landscape Creatures #FolkloreThursday Folklore Mythology
Black Cat Appreciation Day

Black Cat Appreciation Day

Black cats feature heavily in stories all around the world, and it is safe to say they are badly in need of the PR boost from their very own day of celebration. Internationally, black cats are seen as sidekicks to witches, signs of bad luck and even omens of death. And Irish folklore is no different…

Creatures Connacht Ulster #FolkloreThursday Folklore
Culture Night 2017

Culture Night 2017

Details on how to join us for Culture Night 2017!

Mermaids, Marriage and Mischief

Mermaids are to be found in folklore throughout the world, and have been a source of fascination and inspiration for centuries. In modern times, we mostly have the Disney-fied version of Ariel in the Little Mermaid - a far less brutal (spoiler alert!) retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s 1836 tale. Irish folklore is no different - as an island nation, our stories are very much inspired by the sea, and we have not one, but two forms of mermaid type creatures.

Creatures Connacht Munster #FolkloreThursday Folklore
Cow Appreciation Day

Cow Appreciation Day

July 11th marks Cow Appreciation Day - an invention by an American chicken restaurant, designed to lure customers away from delicious beef burgers. But we won’t let a cynical marketing ploy get in the way of acknowledging one of the most important animals in Irish folklore and mythology.

Creatures Connacht Ulster Folklore Mythology
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