Ancient Celebrations – Part 5 – Saturnalia

Saturnalia was an ancient Roman festival in honour of the god Saturn. It was originally held on 17 December but was later extended with festivities to 23 December. Saturnalia was celebrated with a sacrifice at the Temple of Saturn, and a public banquet. This was followed by private gift giving and continual partying. Many believeContinue reading “Ancient Celebrations – Part 5 – Saturnalia”

Ancient Celebrations – Part 4 – Yuletide

Yule or Yuletide (Yule season) is an ancient festival observed by the Germanic peoples. It has connections to Woden (Odin) and sacrificial feasts. Like many other pagan festivities, Yule was Christianised and transformed into Christmastide. Despite this, Yule is still commonly used in Carols and in connection with Christmas, such as the Yule log. HowContinue reading “Ancient Celebrations – Part 4 – Yuletide”

The Celts – Part 4 – British Migrants – Beaker Folk and the Celts

Prior to the Celts, the Beaker folk arrived in Britain around 2700-2500 BC, intermingling fairly peacefully with the existing Neolithic culture and adopting its henges. They brought new burial practices with them so that Neolithic long barrows or cairns were replaced by smaller barrows or tumuli. They also brought new metalworking techniques with them, inContinue reading “The Celts – Part 4 – British Migrants – Beaker Folk and the Celts”

Ancient Celebrations – Part 3 – Hallowe’en

Halloween has been observed by many Christians since c.610 CE, and is a contraction of All Hallows’ Eve (Hallow meaning holy ones, or saints). This was followed by All Saints Day on 1 November and All Souls’ Day on 2 November. The three days are collectively known as Allhallowtide. They are a time for honouringContinue reading “Ancient Celebrations – Part 3 – Hallowe’en”

The Celtic Diet – Part 4 – Samhain Recipes

In recent times, common Celtic recipes are stews, potato dishes, cereal/oat meals and lots of varieties of bread. Some foods are eaten during celebratory or commemorative days. These are some recipes you might want to try for Samhain: – Traditional Irish Colcannon Colcannon was first referenced in Irish history in a 1735 diary entry of William Bulkely,Continue reading “The Celtic Diet – Part 4 – Samhain Recipes”

The Celtic Diet – Part 3 – Mead and Cyser

In recent years, there has been an increasing demand for Mead and Cyser (apple mead from South West England), ancient drinks enjoyed by the Celts. You might want to try making your own Mead and/or Cyser. Mead Instructions for Making Mead Ingredients: – Demijohn1 kg honey (different honey will make different mead) 2 litres springContinue reading “The Celtic Diet – Part 3 – Mead and Cyser”

The Celtic Diet – Part 2 – Beverages

The rich Mediterranean imports found in early Celtic sites between the seventh and fifth century BC in Southwestern Germany, Switzerland and Eastern France provide evidence of the role of consumption practices in feasting. Imported ceramic vessels have been interpreted as an attempt by the Celtic elite to imitate Mediterranean wine feasting. In the Mediterranean importedContinue reading “The Celtic Diet – Part 2 – Beverages”

Draíocht na Síoga na Samhna

Faerie Magick at Samhain Lá agus Oíche Leanaí ag súgradh Amuigh sa ghairdín- Déan deifir abhaile! Tá an ghrian dula luí. Sióga ag damhsa Amuigh sa ghairdín- Déan deifir abhaile! Tá an ghrian ag éirí. (“Oíche Mhaith” , Céim 1 Leabhar B, Duilleoga, An Comhlacht Oideachais Éireann.) I circle the ancient stones clockwise from theContinue reading “Draíocht na Síoga na Samhna”

A Tale for Samhain – Aillén the Burner

The 12th century text Macgnímartha Finn (Boyhood Deeds of Fionn) recounts the boyhood exploits of Fionn mac Cumhaill. The story begins with the death of Cumhal, leader of the Fianna, at the hands of Goll mac Morna. Cumhal’s wife Muirne was pregnant at the time and eventually gave birth to their son, Demne. Fearing for his safety, she sends him to beContinue reading “A Tale for Samhain – Aillén the Burner”

The Celts – Part 3 – The Vinča Connection

The Celts are not as ancient as many civilisations, but their cultural roots can possibly be traced all the way back to the Vinča culture in Serbia, who were sited along the river Danube (Belgrade modern day). The Danube basin was the site of some of the earliest human cultures and the Vinča culture goesContinue reading “The Celts – Part 3 – The Vinča Connection”