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Hello and welcome to my August newsletter from Ireland.
Did you know that the 1st of August is considered the first day of autumn in the Celtic calendar and honestly with the rain we have been having here I think it is a fair call!
Today is the beginning of the 30 day festival of Lughnasadh. (You may have heard of the Irish play “Dancing at Lughnasadh” by dramatist Brian Friel ? If not look it up as it is loosely based around this festival and is a fabulous play.) Named after the god Lugh the festival is mentioned in some of the earliest Irish literature and has pagan origins. It involved great gatherings that included religious ceremonies, ritual athletic contests, feasting, matchmaking and trading.
There is evidence of religious rites including an offering of the “first fruits”, a feast of the new food and bilberries, the sacrifice of a bull and a ritual dance-play in which Lugh seizes the harvest for mankind and defeats the powers of blight. Much of this activity would have taken place on top of hills and mountains.
Here in Ireland the harvest is gathered in August and the tradition of “putting out the hare” still continues in many areas. It takes its roots in the fact that small animals retreated from advancing harvesters by hiding in the remaining crop. In the old days the farmers went to great lengths to ensure that his field would be harvested before his neighbour . Thus the call.. “ have you put out the hare yet?”.
How it worked was that a small part of the crop was left standing while the rest of the field finished. Before the final piece was cut the workers raised a call to “put out the hare”. If a farm nearby still had a standing crop the workers would then say “we sent you the hare”.
Meanwhile back in Dublin the annual Horse Show will take place from 9th to 13th of this month. This brings the finest bloodstock and their owners to the Royal Dublin Society showgrounds and there are show jumping, dressage and exhibitions that bring horse lovers from all over the world to compete and admire the finest of Irish Horse breeding. People will clamour for tickets as it is a fantastic day out for all the family.
Finally I cannot forget that the Rose of Tralee festival will take place 18th August to 22nd August!! The festival brings together contestants from all corners of the globe. Based around the famous song “The Rose of Tralee” this is essentially a competition where women of Irish ancestry take part in a personality contest. The “Roses” are feted during the week of the festival, each is accompanied by an escort and they attend various events and parades around the streets of Tralee in County Kerry. It feels like all eyes are on the town of Tralee in the Kingdom of Kerry where the festival takes place.
Here at Connemara Marble Jewelry we celebrate the Rose of Tralee every year so watch this space! I hope you all are enjoying the summer as much as I am. See you soon,
#connemaramarble #august #ireland #irishroots #celticfestival
Please enter your contact details here and your question and I will answer it as soon as possible, many thanks. Stephen