Like most countries, #Ireland has many of it’s own wonderful #Irish #Christmas traditions. Ireland’s Christmas traditions that have survived to modern times are steeped in Celtic culture and religious faith. Some of our favorite Irish Christmas Traditions are placing a candle in your homes window, the Laden Table, St. Stephens Day, Plum Pudding, and Women’s Christmas. Read more about this treasured Irish Christmas. http://www.theirishjewelrycompany.com/irish-christmas-traditions/
The Irish legend of the Dullahan, or English translation “dark man” is unnerving. The Headless Horseman or Dullahan is the Irish foreteller of death. The Dullahan rides a jet black horse with flames shooting from its eyes, carrying his head under one arm. Irish folklore says that when he stops riding, a human dies.
There are many versions of this scary tale. Some say that the Dullahan throws buckets of blood at people he passes, while other say he simply calls out the name of the mortal that will soon die.
But as with most evil entities the Dullahan has a weakness. The Dullahan can not stand the sight of GOLD. So you would be wise when traveling on this Halloween to carry a wee bit of in case you have a run-in with this headless horror!
The Halloween bonfire is a tradition to encourage dreams of who your future husband or wife is going to be. The idea was to drop a cutting of your hair into the burning embers and then dream of you future loved one. Halloween was one of the Celt ‘fire’ celebrations.
In Ireland there are fairies, good natured and there are FAIRIES. If you’ve ever traveled at night on the winding Irish back roads in the countryside of Ireland you would know it is a kind of eerie darkness that puts fear in your very heart. One can easily imagine something moving over the moors or hearing the forlorn screech of a dammed fairy.
As a child in Ireland you are warned to not play inside a fairy fort because the fairies don’t like it and might curse you or worse they might fancy you. Fairy forts are mounds or hills found all over Ireland. They are the ruins of circular mound dwellings in which people lived during the Iron Age such as Newgrange.
‘Away with the fairies’is an old Irish expression referring to someone whose mind is elsewhere. It originated with the belief in the folklore that mischievous…
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Barmbrack is the center of an Irish Halloween custom. The Halloween Brack traditionally contained various objects baked into the bread and was used as a sort of fortune-telling game. In the barmbrack were: a pea, a stick, a piece of cloth, a small coin (originally a silver sixpence) and a ring. Each item, when received in the slice, was supposed to carry a meaning to the person concerned: the pea, the person would not marry that year; the stick, would have an unhappy marriage or continually be in disputes; the cloth or rag, would have bad luck or be poor; the coin, would enjoy good fortune or be rich; and the ring, would be wed within the year. Other articles added to the brack include a medallion, usually of the Virgin Mary to symbolize going into the priesthood or to the Nuns, although this tradition is not widely continued in…
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The Banshee…. bean-sidhe (woman of the fairy may be an ancestral spirit appointed to forewarn members of certain ancient Irish families of their time of death. According to tradition, the banshee can only cry for five major Irish families: the O’Neills, the O’Briens, the O’Connors, the O’Gradys and the Kavanaghs. Intermarriage has since extended this select list.
Whatever her origins, the banshee chiefly appears in one of three guises: a young woman, a stately matron or a raddled old hag. These represent the triple aspects of the Celtic goddess of war and death, namely Badhbh, Macha and Mor-Rioghain.) She usually wears either a grey, hooded cloak or the winding sheet or grave robe of the unshriven dead. She may also appear as a washer-woman, and is seen apparently washing the blood stained clothes of those who are about to die. In this guise she is known as the…
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• 1 lb potatoes
• 1 lb kale or cabbage
• Onion or leek
• 1/4 cup milk
• Butter, salt and pepper
First peel and boil the potatoes. Then chop the kale or cabbage up small. Steam cabbage until tender, about 8 minutes. Then saute the onion until golden. Mash the potatoes well, and mix with the cabbage and onion. Add a wee bit of milk and butter to get that creamy consistency. Then salt and pepper to taste. Bake in a medium oven for about 15 minutes.
- 4 tbsp plain flour (corn starch if you want it to be gluten free)
- 1 ½lb stew beef, trimmed and cut into chunks
- 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
- 2 onions, diced
- 2-3 large carrots, sliced
- 1 ½ cups beef stock (from a stock cube is fine)
- 1 cup of Irish Stout (omit for gluten free and increase beef stock by 1 cup)
- dash of Worcestershire sauce
- 2 lbs even-sized peeled potatoes
- 3 tbsp (1 ½oz) Irish Butter
- salt and pepper
Coat beef with corn starch. Brown stew beef in a pot with butter and onions. Add carrots, thyme, potatoes, stock, stout and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 1 1/2-2 hours until beef is tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.
The Celts celebrated Halloween as Samhain, ‘All Hallowtide’ – the ‘Feast of the Dead’, when the dead revisited the mortal world. The celebration marked the end of Summer and the start of the Winter months.
During the eighth century the Catholic Church designated the first day of November as ‘All Saints Day’ (‘All Hallows’) – a day of commemoration for those Saints that did not have a specific day of remembrance. The night before was known as ‘All Hallows Eve’ which, over time, became known as Halloween.
Here are the most notable Irish Halloween Traditions:
Colcannon for Dinner:
Boiled Potato, Curly Kale (a cabbage) and raw Onions are provided as the traditional Irish Halloween dinner. Clean coins are wrapped in baking paper and placed in the potato for children to find and keep.
The Barnbrack Cake:
The traditional Halloween cake in Ireland is the barnbrack which is a fruit bread…
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