Hello and here is my June letter from Ireland.
For me June is one of my favourite months of the year. The days are long, the weather is usually mild and the trees , flowers and crops are at the height of the growing season.
In my opinion June is one of the best months to visit Ireland. It’s great to see the return of tourists and holiday makers. With the long days ( it won’t get dark until way after 10 pm in mid-month ) we can cram almost another day into our agenda after dinner. In my case the grass can get cut, the dogs walked and even a coat of paint on the railings whilst there is still daylight !
Midsummer will fall on the 21st of June and the summer solstice is marked in many of Irelands ancient sites and stone alignments. On June 23rd the Christian feast of St. Johns Eve occurs. As it’s said that St John the Baptist was born six months before Jesus, the celebration begins on the evening of the 23rd of June. Bonfires are lit and are the focal point for communal festivities. These include dancing, singing and the young men will prove their bravery by leaping through the flames. The fire itself is claimed to have magical powers . Burning weeds in its flames was said to prevent the fields from becoming overgrown , whilst scattering the ashes would bring fertility to the land. It was also said to be particularly lucky to bring ashes home to light the kitchen hearth.
For fans of horse racing the Irish Derby is back !! On Saturday June 25th the famous Curragh racecourse in county Kildare will host the event and this is one of the highlights in the sporting and social calendar. I know that the event has been sadly missed by many and this year’s racing festival will be enjoyed by all. If you ever get a chance to attend it’s a mixture of glamour, excitement and pageant and well worth adding to your bucket list.
Although the Irish derby is a flat race without jumps, did you know that the sport of steeplechasing – that is horse racing over jumps – originated in the town of Buttevant, in County Cork ?? The very first race of its kind took place in 1752 between the two steeples of Saint John’s church and Saint Marys church – a distance of about 4 miles . As steeples were the tallest buildings in rural Ireland, they made great landmarks and in this case suitable starting and finishing points. Nowadays the world’s most famous and longest steeplechase race – the Grand National is run over a distance of 4 miles in honour of the original race.
Another very special day in June is Fathers Day which falls on the 19th. We now have 20% off all our Men’s Celtic Jewelry
We have a fantastic range of Father’s Day Gifts also.
Before I go, I have to share a lovely poem – June – by the Irish poet Francis Ledwidge . He was born in County Meath not far from Slane Castle and took his inspiration for the rural landscape and everyday beauty . I think it captures the beauty of June and the poignancy that once the solstice has passed that the evenings will begin to shorten and we begin the journey towards winter and the passing of time.
But for the moment lets enjoy the sunshine and warm days of June .
Broom out the floor now, lay the fender by,
And plant this bee-sucked bough of woodbine there,
And let the window down. The butterfly
Floats in upon the sunbeam, and the fair
Tanned face of June, the nomad gipsy, laughs
Above her widespread wares, the while she tells
The farmers’ fortunes in the fields, and quaffs
The water from the spider-peopled wells.
The hedges are all drowned in green grass seas,
And bobbing poppies flare like Elmo’s light,
While siren-like the pollen-staind bees
Drone in the clover depths. And up the height
The cuckoo’s voice is hoarse and broke with joy.
And on the lowland crops the crows make raid,
Nor fear the clappers of the farmer’s boy,
Who sleeps, like drunken Noah, in the shade
And loop this red rose in that hazel ring
That snares your little ear, for June is short
And we must joy in it and dance and sing,
And from her bounty draw her rosy worth.
Ay! soon the swallows will be flying south,
The wind wheel north to gather in the snow,
Even the roses spilt on youth’s red mouth
Will soon blow down the road all roses go.
Please visit my website at to view range of Celtic Jewelry and Irish Gifts at www.connemaramarble.com
Stay well till next time, Stephen