#Halloween based on Celtic #Samhain meaning ‘summer’s end’. From sundown 31 October to sundown 1 November, celebrated for a week (3 days before & after)! Jack-o-lanterns welcomed deceased loved ones & also acted as protection against malevolent spirits! Pumpkins replaced turnips.
The Boyhood Deeds of Fionn says that the sídhe (fairy mounds or portals to the Otherworld) ‘were always open at #Samhain’. People gathered on the Plain of Muirthemni where there would be meetings, games & feasting with lots of alcohol! #Halloween
According to Irish mythology, the warrior Nera disappeared into Tír na nÓg at #Samhain, the beginning of winter, yet returned bearing summer flowers: wild garlic, golden fern, & primroses (Sabhaircín in Irish. Mine shown), to convince Medb & Aillil of where he'd been! #Halloween
Lots important events at #Halloween! For 23 years at #Samhain, a fire-breathing man of the Sidhe, Aillen, would lull the men of Tara to sleep with his music before burning the palace to the ground! Fionn mac Cumhaill was able to stay awake & slayed him & was made leader of fianna
Caer, Irish goddess of sleep & dreams turned to human form for only 1 day at #Samhain & then reverted into a swan for a year before becoming human again the following Samhain! Her husband the god Aengus/Óengus became a swan too! In that story #Halloween is a very blessed time!
Book of Invasions says each #Samhain the people of Nemed had to give 2/3s of their children, their corn & their milk to the Fomorians (monsters who come from sea or underground-giants & sea raiders. Opponents of the Tuatha Dé Danann, the Irish gods & goddesses)! #Halloween
#Samhain in ancient Ireland associated with a god/idol called Crom Cruach. A first-born child would be sacrificed at the stone idol of Crom Cruach in Magh Slécht, Co Cavan! King Tigernmas & 3/4s of his people, died while worshiping Crom Cruach there one Samhain! #Halloween
Entrance passage to Mound of the Hostages on Hill of Tara in Co #Meath is aligned with the rising sun around #Samhain! Also illuminated at Imbolc (1st Feb). The Mound of the Hostages is a Neolithic structure, built 3350-2800 BC. c 250-500 bodies buried in the mound! #Halloween
Several sites in Ireland are especially linked to #Samhain. Each Samhain a host of otherworldly beings was said to emerge from Oweynagat ("cave of the cats"), at #Rathcroghan in Co #Roscommon! #Halloween
The Hill of Ward (or Tlachtga) in Co Meath is thought to have been the site of a great #Samhain gathering & bonfire! The Iron Age ringfort is said to have been where the goddess or druid Tlachtga gave birth to triplets & where she later died! #Halloween
Many events in Irish mythology happen or begin on #Samhain e.g. the Táin Bó Cúailnge ('Cattle Raid of Cooley'). As cattle-raiding typically was a summer activity, the invasion during this off-season surprised the Ulstermen! Mural of it's hero Cú Chulainn @UlsterMuseum. #Halloween
Barmbrack centre of #Halloween tradition! Placed inside: pea (won't marry), stick (unhappy marriage), piece of cloth (bad luck or be poor), small coin (good fortune or be rich) & ring (would be wed within the year)! Virgin Mary medallion (going into priesthood/nuns)! #Samhain
Dressing up is also an Irish tradition. Boys would dress up as old men or hags/Cailleach. Dressing up confused evil spirits, just like lighting the jack-o-lantern kept evil spirits away! #Samhain #Halloween
Drunk Jack offered up his soul in exchange for payment of his pub tab! When the Devil came to collect Jack climbed a tree! Carved a cross to stop the Devil who forgave Jack's debt & granted him an ember from fires of hell to light his way! Jack-o'-lantern! #Halloween #Samhain
Think pumpkins are scary at #Halloween, try a turnip!!! Jack-o'-lantern's are a yearly tradition that came to America from Irish immigrants, based on Stinky Jack! Here's a turnip lantern from early 20th C at Museum of Country Life @NMIreland, Co #Mayo. @MagicalEurope #Samhain
Hope everyone is still having a great #Samhain! Samhain traditionally lasted until sundown on 1 November, as the days went from sundown to sundown! My photos taken at @sainsburys, Ballymena, Co Antrim! @SainsburysNews @Love_Antrim #AllSaintsDay #Halloween👻🦇🕷️
At Samhain, Fand flying as a sea bird with her sister Lí Ban when Cú Chulainn threw stones at them! Return as otherworldly women & beat him with horsewhips until he fell ill & bed bound for year! Eventually recovers & agrees to help her fight! Even become lovers! #MythologyMonday
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