The Portarlington National Celtic Festival, near Geelong in Australia brought in over 15,000 visitors, with people traveling from as far as New Zealand and organisers have described it as the best one yet, reports the Geelong Advertiser.
Castell Henllys Iron Age Village will be opening its doors on Saturday (March 11) in a bid to form a new volunteer group that will help care for the unique heritage site reports the Milford Mercury.
An open afternoon will begin at 2pm to welcome those who are interested in volunteering some of their time and expertise to support the prehistoric site, which is owned and run by the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority.
Taking part in events at Castell Henllys
Castell Henllys Manager, Jenn Jones said:
On Imbolc Eve Irish and Scottish women would clean and prepare their household for Brigid’s blessings during the night. Brigid was said to visit virtuous households and bring Imbolc blessings to the inhabitants. In some places in Ireland and Scotland it was a tradition to open all the doors and windows in the home and for the women of the house to stand at the threshold in order to recieve Brigid’s blessings. After being invited into the house a bed would often be made for her, and a wand or stick laid on the bed or close by.
Imbolc is dedicated to Saint Brigid; a major figure in the early Irish Church who predates the Saint to a pan-celtic pagan goddess of the same name. The festival which celebrates winter’s end, the onset of spring, and the start of the agricutural year is thought to be linked with Brigid in her role as a fertility goddess.
Imbolc (Imbolg) the festival marking the beginning of spring has been celebrated since ancient times and the Imbolc folklore that has developed over the years is fascinating. It is a Cross Quarter Day, midpoint between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. It can fall between the 2nd & 7th of February when calculated as the mid point between the astronomical Winter Solstice and the astronomical Spring Equinox.
Cross quarter days were traditionally when leasehold payments and rents for land and premises were paid, and on these days people had a little more freedom to celebrate and mark the changing seasons.
In some places in Ireland and Scotland, all work ceased on the feast and devotions at holy wells took place instead.
Wales is a country steeped in tradition. Even the Methodist revival in the 18th century, whose stern Puritanism banished the ancient Celtic traditions, was unable to stamp out all remains of their traditions.
Today the old tales are kept alive by the Welsh speakers. There are an estimated 600,000 of them and the numbers are increasing. Traditional Welsh culture has been kept alive by the popularity of the Royal National Eisteddfod, a ceremonial gathering of musicians, poets and craftsmen.
In the late 19th century children were not encouraged to speak Welsh in school. If they did so, they were punished by having a piece of wood called a ‘Welsh Not’ hung around their neck.
Love Spoons – historic Welsh Tradition
Basck in 2015, we announced that a film about Grainne Uaile (Grace O’Malley), the renowned Irish Pirate Queen was being made. Now, we are overjoyed to hear that it has an expected release date of early 2017! The Press Release tells us:
Early 2017 “Grainne Uaile – The movie” will be released from its ship in Ireland and sailing the festival circuits. A 3 hour epic, written and directed by Ciaron Davies and starring Fionnuala Collins as the infamous pirate queen, the movie was shot on location all over Ireland, North and south, on land and sea.
16th Century Pirate Queen
A violent and gritty retelling of the life of Grainne Uaile, the 16th century Pirate Queen from Ireland. She was a fighter, a pirate and a tough woman, carving her mark in a mans world. This exciting film is violent, dark, brutal, exciting and often darkly comic. The ultimate female action hero steeped in ancient Irish history.
Celtic literature will be celebrated with a night of storytelling, myths and fairy tales at Peel Masonic Club on Saturday, October 1 reports isleofman.com. The festival is striving to develop a strong Celtic influence through each Litfest, and this year, they welcome two fine Celtic writers to the festival, Dr. Sharon Blackie and Kevin MacNeil. The event – Celtic Stories, Myths and Fairy Tales – is part of Manx Litfest 2016 and is being sponsored by Isle of Man satellite firm ManSat Ltd.
It will feature visiting Celtic authors Dr Sharon Blackie and Kevin MacNeil, in conversation with lecturer Dr Catriona Mackie, along with readings of myths and poetry, with some live Celtic music for good measure.
The night marks an initiative by Manx Litfest to develop a Celtic theme within each festival. Other events within the six-day Litfest, which gets underway on Tuesday, September 27, include a talk on the life and writing of Sophia Morrison (2.00pm – House of Manannan – Thursday, September 29), a writing workshop being run by Sharon (now sold out) and an event on the afternoon of Friday, September 30 when Sharon will talk about her new book, If Women Rose Rooted (2.30pm at St John’s Mill).
Lughnasadh or Lughnasa (pronounced LOO-nə-sə) Irish: Lúnasa; Scottish Gaelic: Lùnastal; Manx: Luanistyn) is a Celtic festival marking the beginning of the harvest season that was historically observed throughout Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man. Traditionally it was held on July 31 – August 1, or approximately halfway between the summer solstice and autumn equinox. Lughnasadh is one of the four Celtic seasonal festivals; along with Samhain, Imbolc, and Beltane. It corresponds to other European harvest festivals, such as the English Lammas.
The festival is named after the god Lugh, and involved great gatherings that included religious ceremonies, ritual athletic contests (most notably the Tailteann Games), feasting, matchmaking, and trading. There were also visits to holy wells.
Lughnasadh customs persisted widely until the twentieth century. The custom of climbing hills and mountains at Lughnasadh has survived in some areas, although it has been re-cast as a Christian pilgrimage. Since the latter twentieth century, Celtic neopagans have observed Lughnasadh, or something based on it, as a religious holiday. In some places, elements of the festival have been revived as a cultural event.
Crawfish and Guinness, whiskey and cook-offs, Irish and Cajun music — what do they have in common asks the Acadiana Advocate? The answer lies deep in the heart of Cajun country this weekend as Lafayette prepares to host the inaugural Celtic Bayou Festival. The Lafayette Celtic Festival celebrates all aspects of Celtic and Irish American culture as well as the rich Acadian culture of Louisiana.
The festival will take place Friday and Saturday at Warehouse on 535 Garfield St. in Lafayette. According to husband and wife team Tony and Sheila Davoren, the creative forces behind the festival, Lafayette’s enthusiasm for world music makes it the perfect venue. Sheila Davoren said:
The cultures are similar — the music, the dancing, the storytelling and the sheer joy of life — so our festival has a modern twist, and incorporates both traditions.