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Summer Starts with Bealtaine
What was originally a pre-Christian agricultural and fertility festival, Bealtaine is the Irish name for the month of May, kicking off the flurry of summer festivals and events calendar. Bealtaine celebrates creativity now especially for the over-50s in the population.
Tay so Strong the Spoon Stands to Attention
Coffee may have made inroads into Irish culture...and not just with whiskey added either. Tea remains the beverage that keeps the Irish on course.
The Famine in Ireland
The Great Famine that began in 1847 with the failure of the potato crop changed the course of history not just for Ireland, but for the world.
The Festival of Brigit
The Festival of Brigit on 1st February is the official start of the Irish spring. The snow may still be on the snowdrops but this ancient celebration of Ireland's saint and goddess begins the season of renewal.
The Great Ulster Fry Breakfast Plate
Irish food has many regional variations. Most visitors are familiar with 'the full Irish' breakfast but Northern Ireland has it's own unique variation known as the Ulster Fry. Take a tour of what appears on Northern Irish breakfast plate.
The Hearth in the Irish Home
The Irish Weather
The Irish weather is always with us. This article includes some tips for navigating the variations of Irish weather. If you are preparing for a trip to Ireland you might want to avail yourself of my advice.
The Island of the White Cow
This is a book review of Deborah Tall's classic memoir of her time living on Inishbofin, the isle of the white cow, during the 1970s. She records a vanishing way of life with great tenderness and evokes it with the lyricism of a poet.
The Mary of the Gaels
Ireland has three patron saints and one is a woman, St. Brigit. So strictly speaking she is a matron saint and a motherly concern for so many aspects of life reveals that she watches a lot of backs!
The Traditional Irish Wake
The rites for honoring the dead and celebrating their life are still very much part of Irish rural culture. Undertakers may bury but the waking of the dead is still very much in the hands of the family of the departed.
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