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Some Irish Christmas Traditions
The more things change, the more they stay the same - if a bit altered with the fashions of the current decade. Here are six traditions that make up an Irish Christmas; family, food, time off, lights, a little religion and some straw men.
St. Brigid's Day Recipes
St. Brigid's Day is 1st February. Even if there is frost on the snowdrops, this is the official start to the Celtic Spring. We are six weeks between Christmas and the Spring Equinox. Celebrate brighter days and the earth getting ready to sprout seedlings with my Seed Cake recipe.
St. Columcille Ireland's Other Patron Saint
St. Patrick may get all the publicity but Ireland has two home grown patron saints. Here we meet Columcille, aka Columba, who was born in Donegal.
St. Patrick Banishing Ireland's Snakes
Natural historians will tell you Ireland never has had any native snakes. So what is the basis of the folk tale of St. Patrick banishing the snakes from Ireland?
St. Patrick's Day
St. Patrick's Day is a welcome break in Lenten abstinence. This national holiday is also a Roman Catholic holy day of obligation. So before the merry making there is prayer.
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 Cottage Ceilidh
The craic is always mighty at a cottage ceilidh, especially as we approach Lunasa, the harvest time at the end of July and beginning of August.
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.
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