Celtic traditions are often filled with fun and laughter. Hence they are enjoyed all over the globe, but often their origins are unknown to those who take part in these cultural festivals. Here we will give a brief guide on how specific great dates on the Irish social calendar came into existence and as well as how it is genuinely reflecting their cultural identity.
Saint Patrick’s Day is by far the most well-known of all Irish celebrations. What many don’t know, however, is that the much-celebrated Patron Saint of Ireland wasn’t even from there. The famous Patrick was indeed born in Britain while under Roman rule. At the age of 16, the young man was kidnapped into slavery. For years he prayed to God to hear his call and then one day he received the holy calling to leave Ireland to go to a place miles away. His return was once again due to inspiration from a vision to bring the Christian faith to the shores of Ireland. He spent the remainder of his life preaching the gospel until he passed away on the 17th of March 461AD. When the Irish left their home country to move to America during the 19th century, they brought their celebrations in tribute to Patrick along.
The Brigid’s Cross
The cross made of reeds is a famous image within the Catholicism of Ireland. It refers back to when Saint Brigid of Kildare used it to convey the message of the crucifixion of Christ while converting a dying chieftain on his deathbed. Yet the likelihood also exists that the cross came into existence even long before that and might not have anything to do with Christianity. The alternative Brigit is the goddess of spring, and the cross symbolizes the sun. The day is celebrated on the 1st of February which was also the first day of spring in a much more ancient Ireland. Hence the only real certainty about the cross is that it is believed to protect homes from fires and it is still commonly seen in a much more modern Ireland.
Various Mythical Characters
Irish folklore is a wealth of mythical characters. The Banshee is well-known as the bearer of bad news. The terrifying wail of the Banshee is a distinctive warning to any family of looming loss as he travels with deceased to the life hereafter. It is believed that the Banshee was once upon a time a beautiful young lady who suffered such a tragic death that she now spends her days wandering on earth and warning those who are unknowingly facing death themselves.
Another Irish folklore celebrity is the Irish Leprechaun. The Leprechaun is part of a tribe of fairies belonging to a supernatural tribe who were once Irish deities and now are rulers of the Otherworld. They are presented as bearers of great riches and appearing in the world as roguish cobblers and once captured by mortals are bound to grant them three wishes.