Archive for the ‘Ireland’ Tag

Prelude to St. Patrick’s Day   4 comments

**************************************************************

8115637801_3a8360a2c9_z[1]

***********************************************************

Many sites will tell you that the little trefoil known as the shamrock was once known as “seamróg“, pronounced “Seamroy”, meaning “little clover”. They also mention the fact that it is a very common clover that grows heartily in Ireland.

Many agree that the ancient Druids honored it as a sacred plant. The Druids believed the shamrock had the power to avert evil spirits. Some people still believe the shamrock has mystical, even prophetic, powers. It is said that the leaves of shamrocks turn upright whenever a storm is coming.

According to Lady Wilde, the shamrock “enlightens the brain and makes one see and know the truth“.

The ancient Irish Celts also revered the shamrock because it has three leaves, and they considered “3” to be a sacred number. The ancient Celtic Druids believed many numbers held mystical powers.

The three leaves shaped like hearts were associated with the Triple Goddess of Celtic mythology, otherwise known as the “Three Morgans”. The Triple Goddess represented the Triple Mothers, the hearts of the ancient Celtic tribes.

This Celtic tradition of honoring “3’s” continued in Ireland for millennia.

di8poo8ie1

May the worst o’ yer problems

Be a peaceful sleep,

And sweet dreams.

B1

*************

*****

*

 

Sleep ‘n’ Dream   2 comments

Capture2

Just for tonight, let me sleep and dream in Ireland

***************************************************************

The day, it’s now over

And the partyin’s done

Corned beef ‘n’ taters

An’ th’ Guinness is gone

‘Tis time to sit back

Wi’ the rest o’ me brew

An’ say a good night

Merry evenin’ t’ you

‘Twas a grand day, wasn’t it now ???

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Lá Shona Fhéile Padraig

********
Agus tráthnóna maith fíneáil a thabhairt duit go léir

P1aB1

Posted March 17, 2016 by PapaBear in Experiences, Memories, Personal, Poetry

Tagged with , , , , , ,

~ A Wee Bit o’ Irish Humor ~   2 comments

imagesRNOO2BDI

An Old Flame

An elderly couple were driving through County Kerry, Ireland. Irene was driving when she got pulled over by the Gardai, who asks her, ‘Ma’am did you know that you were speeding?’

Irene turns to her husband, Mick and enquires, ‘What did he say?’

Mick yells out, ‘He says you were speeding!’ The Garda said, ‘May I see your license, please ma’ am?’

Irene, once again, turns to Mick and says, ‘What did he say?’

Once more, Mick, shouts out, ‘He wants to see your license!’

Irene gives the policeman her driving license.

The Garda retorts, ‘I see you are from Kerry. I spent some time there once and had the worst date I have ever had.’

For the final time, Irene turns to Mick and asks, ‘What did he say?’

Mick yells very loudly, ‘He thinks he knows you!’

images[3]

7ee1b5b7c3f01d1b362bd410df13e6c6[1]

*****

**

*

b1[2]ab

 

Posted December 22, 2015 by PapaBear in Humor, Story

Tagged with , ,

~ A Wee Bit o’ Lore from Himself   Leave a comment


++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

halloween-can[1]

In Ireland, where Halloween originated, the day is still celebrated much as it is in the United States. In rural areas, bonfires are lit as they were in the days of the Celts, and all over the country, children get dressed up in costumes and spend the evening “trick-or-treating” in their neighborhoods. After trick-or-treating, most people attend parties with neighbors and friends. At the parties, many games are played, including “snap-apple,” a game in which an apple on a string is tied to a doorframe or tree and players attempt to bite the hanging apple. In addition to bobbing for apples, parents often arrange treasure hunts, with candy or pastries as the “treasure.” The Irish also play a card game where cards are laid face down on a table with candy or coins underneath them. When a child chooses a card, he receives whatever prize is found below it.

thD2LG8SIG

A traditional food eaten on Halloween is barnbrack, a kind of fruitcake that can be bought in stores or baked at home. A muslin-wrapped treat is baked inside the cake that, it is said, can foretell the eater’s future. If a ring is found, it means that the person will soon be wed; a piece of straw means that a prosperous year is on its way. Children are also known to play tricks on their neighbors, such as “knock-a-dolly,” a prank in which children knock on the doors of their neighbors, but run away before the door is opened.

halloween-wallpaper-85[1]

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

++++++++++

xxxxx

b1[2]ab

x

Posted September 22, 2015 by PapaBear in Family, History, Personal, Prose, Story

Tagged with , , , , ,

A Bit More o’ Irish Fun   2 comments

****************************

St.-Patrick[1]

To most people, St. Patrick is the man who brought a day of good times and green beer to pubs across the world. In reality, St. Patrick wasn’t made a saint until centuries after his death and he wasn’t even Irish. St. Patrick was born in Britain to a wealthy family. During his childhood, he was kidnapped and sold into slavery in Ireland. During his years in slavery he converted to Christianity and once freed he did spend the rest of his life teaching the Irish about the Christian religion, but he was soon forgotten after his death. It wasn’t until many years later that monks began telling the tale of St. Patrick forcing all the snakes out of Ireland. Something he never could have done as there never were any snakes in Ireland.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Dagdas-Harp[1]

In Irish mythology, the Dagda was a high priest who had a large and beautiful harp. During a war, a rival tribe stole Dagda’s harp and took it to an abandoned castle. Dagda followed the tribe and called to the harp. The harp came to Dagda and he struck the chords. The harp let out the Music of Tears and everyone in the castle began to cry. Dagda struck the chords again and the harp played the Music of Mirth and all the warriors began to laugh. Then, Dagda struck the chords a final time and the harp let out the Music of Sleep. Everyone but Dagda fell into a deep sleep, allowing him to escape with his magical harp unharmed.

__________________________________

The Shamrock

The three green leaves of the Shamrock is more than the unofficial symbol of Ireland and one of the marshmallows in Lucky Charms. The Shamrock has held meaning to most of Ireland’s historic cultures. The Druids believed the Shamrock was a sacred plant that could ward off evil. The Celtics believed the Shamrock had mystical properties due to the plant’s three heart-shaped leaves. The Celtics believed three was a sacred number. Some Christians also believed the Shamrock had special meaning- the three leaves representing the Holy Trinity.

===========================

images[7]

The Tuatha de Danann, the people of the Goddess Danu, were one of the great ancient tribes of Ireland. The important manuscript ‘The Annals of the Four Masters’, records that they ruled Ireland from 1897 B.C. to 1700 B.C.

The arrival of the tribe in Ireland is the stuff of legend. They landed at the Connaught coastline and emerged from a great mist. It is speculated that they burned their boats to ensure that they settled down in their new land. The rulers of Ireland at the time were the Fir Bolg, led by Eochid son of Erc, who was, needless to say, unhappy about the new arrivals.

The Tuatha de Danann won the inevitable battle with the Fir Bolg but, out of respect for the manner in which they had fought, they allowed the Fir Bolg to remain in Connaught while the victors ruled the rest of Ireland.

The new rulers of Ireland were a civilised and cultured people. The new skills and traditions that they introduced into Ireland were held in high regard by the peoples they conquered. They had four great treasures (or talismans) that demonstrated their skills. The first was the ‘Stone of Fal’ which would scream when a true King of Ireland stood on it. It was later placed on the Hill of Tara, the seat of the High-Kings of Ireland. The second was the ‘Magic Sword of Nuadha’, which was capable of inflicting only mortal blows when used. The third was the ‘sling-shot of the Sun God Lugh’, famed for its accuracy when used. The final treasure was the ‘Cauldron of Daghda’ from which an endless supply of food issued.

The original leader of the Tuatha was Nuada but, having lost an arm in battle it was decreed that he could not rightly be king. That honour went to Breas, a tribesman of Fomorian descent. His seven year rule was not a happy one however, and he was ousted by his people who had become disenchanted with hunger and dissent. Nuada was installed as King, resplendent with his replacement arm made from silver.

Breas raised an army of Fomorians based in the Hebrides and they battled with Nuada at Moytura in County Sligo. The Tuatha again prevailed and the power of the Fomorians was broken forever. The victory had cost the Tuatha their King as Nuadha had died in the battle. A hero of the conflict named Lugh was instated as the new King of Ireland.

The grandsons of the next King, Daghda, ruled during the invasion by the mighty Melesians. The Tuatha de Danann were defeated and consigned to mythology. Legend has it that they were allowed to stay in Ireland, but only underground. Thus they became the bearers of the fairies of Ireland, consigned to the underworld where they became known as ‘Aes sidhe’ (the people of the mound – fairy mounds).

The Melieians used the name of one of the Tuatha de Danann gods, Eriu, as the name of their new kingdom. Eriu or Eire is still used in modern times as the name of Ireland.

imagesF3F7VOG0

Just a wee bit o’ Irish fun

Before th’ day’s officially begun

Cabbage ‘n’ good corned beef

Decorated with a shamrock’s leaf

images[3]

Now, ’tis time for a glass o’ Guiness

Slainte !

…and G’nite to one ‘n’ all !

Posted March 16, 2015 by PapaBear in History, Humor, Poetry, Prose, Story

Tagged with , , , ,

~ Rememberin’ The Days of Eire ~   6 comments

***********************************************************

235049793_ee806a7ced[1]

With the approach of St Patrick’s Day, ’tis fitting to reflect back on some of the old myths, legends, and history of the Emerald Isle that we call Ireland.

***********************************************

Capture1

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

 A lot of the stories told dealt in the currency of magic – curses and charms.  Others are heroic tales.  Many feature fairies and other supernatural beings such as leprechauns, banshees, sheeries and the Pooka – the most feared of all, a vindictive fairy, sometimes appearing in the guise of the bogeyman himself.

Tales also exist of pipers being led away, condemned forever to entertain the fairies, and of ‘changelings’ – unwanted fairy children, left to replace a kidnapped human child.  A more benevolent fairy, the small and hairy but very friendly Grogoch, features in many folk stories particularly from the northern glens and Rathlin Island.

Who knows if all or any are based on actual events, but many are connected to actual places such as The Giant’s Causeway, and its legend of Finn MacCool, still maintains a strong presence in our culture to this very day.

images[4]

The Legend of Finn MacCool

The story goes that one day the fifty foot tall Ulster giant Finn MacCool, grew angry when he heard that a Scottish giant Benandonner was mocking his fighting ability. He threw a rock across the Irish Sea to Scotland, attaching to it a challenge to the rival giant. The Scottish giant quickly threw a message tied to a rock back to Finn, stating that he would not take up the challenge because he couldn’t swim to reach Ireland. Finn swore not to let the Scottish giant off so easily and responded by tearing down the great pieces of volcanic rock that lay near the coast and stood the pieces upright, making them into pillars that formed a Causeway stretching from Ireland to Scotland.

The Scottish giant now had no excuse but to come to Finn’s house. MacCool, masquerading as an 18-foot baby, bit the Scottish giant’s hand and chased him back to Scotland, flinging huge lumps of earth after him. One of the large holes he created filled with water and became Lough Neagh. One large lump of earth missed the Scottish giant, fell into the Irish Sea, and is now known as the Isle of Man.

+++++++++++++++++++++++

Folklore of the Trees

There has always been a strong association in the glens between the hawthorn tree and the fairies. Small, gnarled hawthorns, often of great age, survive on slopes and in the fields where other obstructions to the plough have long since been removed. Stories abound of the misfortunes that have befallen those foolish enough to cut down a ‘skeoch’, as they are known, e.g. someone struck dumb or even a man’s head turned back to front! Twigs of hazel are favoured by water diviners and noted for providing protection against mischievous fairies. Tying a hazel branch to a horse, for example, discourages fairies from taking the animal. Alder, on the other hand is feared for harbouring water spirits and the ash is said to be the first tree that lightening will strike, and should be avoided in a storm.

images[3]

Capture2

Ah, just for tonight…., let me sleep in Ireland… 

images[4]

735039_335691903215336_1114078775_n[1]

********************************

**************

*****

b1[2]ab

*

Posted March 11, 2015 by PapaBear in History, Personal, Prose, Story

Tagged with , , , ,

The Shamrock   1 comment

*******************

‘Tis time now for a wee bit more Irish Lore…

***********

st-patrick-s-day-poem-girl-playing-harp[1]

***************

Contrary to popular belief, the shamrock is not the official emblem of Ireland.  Officially, that honor goes to the Celtic harp. But in the hearts and minds of people all over the world, the shamrock is the symbol of Ireland. You could say the shamrock is the emblem of Irish culture.

8115637801_3a8360a2c9_z[1]

Many sites will tell you that the little trefoil known as the shamrock was once known as “seamróg“, pronounced “Seamroy”, meaning “little clover”. They also mention the fact that it is a very common clover that grows heartily in Ireland.

Many agree that the ancient Druids honored it as a sacred plant. The Druids believed the shamrock had the power to avert evil spirits. Some people still believe the shamrock has mystical, even prophetic, powers. It is said that the leaves of shamrocks turn upright whenever a storm is coming.

According to Lady Wilde, the shamrock “enlightens the brain and makes one see and know the truth“.

The ancient Irish Celts also revered the shamrock because it has three leaves, and they considered “3” to be a sacred number. The ancient Celtic Druids believed many numbers held mystical powers.

The three leaves shaped like hearts were associated with the Triple Goddess of Celtic mythology, otherwise known as the “Three Morgans”. The Triple Goddess represented the Triple Mothers, the hearts of the ancient Celtic tribes.

This Celtic tradition of honoring “3’s” continued in Ireland for millennia.

8115637801_3a8360a2c9_z[1]

Great things do come in threes, after all…

past, present, and future,  land, sea, and sky,  love, valor, and wit,  faith, hope and charity.  Three was also sacred to devotees of the goddess, Brighid, signifying totality. And the Irish bards continued the significance of “3’s” by using triple repetition in their storytelling rhythms.

Actually, many spiritual belief systems, ancient and contemporary, find the number “3” to have mystical properties. The shamrock was considered a sacred plant to ancient Iranians, for example. They knew it as “shamrakh” and honored it as a symbol of the Sacred 3’s.

8115637801_3a8360a2c9_z[1]

The shamrock is a symbol of the Trinity and the Cross for most Irish-Catholics. This is due to the most famous shamrock legend, starring St. Patrick. The story basically says that he used the shamrock to help the pagan Druid High Priests and their followers comprehend the Holy Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – All in One Almighty God.

imagesCATRT322

*************************

*************

*****