Traces of the old abound. Imbolc: 1 February – first day of spring in the Celtic calendar. Winter solstice festivals in Viking Age Scandinavia (as well as before) were marked by many different rituals, many of which are still around today. Samhain, (Celtic: “End of Summer”) also spelled Samain, in ancient Celtic religion, one of the most important and sinister calendar festivals of the year. Hugely popular Scottish music festival Celtic Connections is moving its performances online this year. The ancient Celts and their priests, the Druids, celebrated this event in many ways, ranging from festive to somber. The darkness of night is at its longest, and daylight at its shortest. There are several specific and often ancient types of Celtic festivals. Many of these customs are still followed today. Now, for a libation on those cold “changing-of-the-year nights,” you may consider a glass of mulled wine, a favored beverage of clan chieftains of old during the solstice/Christmas celebrations. Today the Feis has experienced something of a rebirth, both for ethnic Gaels and for enthusiasts of the Gaelic culture in Ireland and Scotland, and worldwide. Local Theater Companies Fight Through Pandemic and Hope to Survive, Coronavirus Updates for Jan. 9: Total Cases Surpass 76,000 in Westchester County, Putnam Records One New Death; Cuomo Says NY is in the ‘Danger Zone’, ‘It Went Very Well’: Over 250 Putnam County Health Care Workers Receive COVID-19 Vaccine, Pleasantville Firefighters to Remember Murdered Comrade 25 Years Later, Blotter, December 15 – December 21, 2020, Print Edition. In modern English, the word is … Known in medieval Celtic culture as a story teller, verse maker and composer, the word ‘Bard’ has become synonymous with the world’s greatest poets. Event director Iain MacDonald explains. In fact, the meaning of the word solstice is just that – “sun stand still.”. Whatever slant colors one’s beliefs, the point is the same: banish darkness and welcome light. It was a time when the ordinary rules were turned upside down. Halloween originates from Samhain, a 2,000 year old Celtic festival. • Feel the Vibes of Early Settlers from the Celtic Nations At mid-winter the Norsemen lit bonfires, told stories and drank sweet ale. For Celtic pagans, the festival is dedicated to the goddess Brigid, daughter of The Dagda and one of the Tuatha Dé Danann. Putting the somber first, it is on this day at Neolithic tombs such as Newgrange in Ireland and others throughout the nations of the “Celtic Fringe,” are aligned to carry the sun’s light through long passageways into the very heart of tombs, illuminating burial chambers in a fleeting period of absolutely blazing light – but only on these days of the solstice, and no other. Lupercalia: 15 February – A TST Satanic celebration of bodily autonomy, sexual liberation, and reproduction; based on the Roman end-of-winter festival of the same name. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so. The purpose of this organization is to provide education to the Central Florida community through schools, churches and civic lectures and demonstrations, as well as organizing and hosting the annual Central Florida Scottish Highland Games in January. In the winter of 2021, The Boston Celtic Music Festival will take place from the 14th through the 18th of January. Be warned, this recipe will quench more than a few thirsts. The Winter Solstice falls on the shortest day of the year (21st December) and was celebrated in Britain long before the arrival of Christianity. whole cloves; and 1 cinnamon stick. Other ancient fes… The Celtic Festival Scene. Read more. The Druids (Celtic priests) would cut the mistletoe that grew on the oak tree and give it as a blessing. The Celts celebrated with fire for the 12 days of the solstice festival. Instead they have evolved from traditional festival times linked to farming practices begun in western Europe thousands of years ago: lambing in early February, bringing the cattle out to pasture in early May, the start of the harvest at the beginning of August, and the preparations for winter at the end of October. Saturnalia ran for seven days from the 17th of December. She is the hag aspect of the Triple Goddess, and rules the dark days between Samhain and Beltaine.. She appears in the late fall, as the earth is dying, and is known as a bringer of storms. Men dressed as women and masters dressed as servants. In the Celtic lands there was no better way to celebrate such a time than having a large feast and a number of healthy bonfires to rejoice in light and merriment during the dark, cold side of the year. Since 1988 Celtic Cultural Alliance (CCA) has been hosting the Celtic Classic Highland Games and Festival in Bethlehem each September. Samhain was the first day of winter, and the end of one pastoral year. This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. The newly-converted could easily re-associate a festival honoring the annual conquest of darkness by light with a new belief centered on Jesus as “the light of the world.”. World class concerts will be available to view online with some of the leading names on the Scottish music scene and beyond, appearing on screens across the world as part of the winter festival. They have been incorporated into the Christian and secular celebrations of Christmas. freshly ground nutmeg; ½ tsp. Sweeten with honey or sugar to taste. For the Celts, this ushered in a 12-day period of celebration, running from Dec. 25 and ending on Jan. 6. There’s probably no better way to get a piece of Ireland, without actually visiting Ireland, than by attending a Celtic Festival. ground cinnamon; 1 tsp. The Winter solstice was seen by the ancient Celts as one of the most significant times of the year. It was from the word for this wheel, houl, that the word yule is thought to have come. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Although Covid-19 will mean this year is a digital edition that also gives the potential for an even wider audience with online performances every night from Friday, January 15 … As the Irish say in their native tongue: “Nollaig Shona Duit!” Pronounced “no-leg show-na ditch.” It means “Happy Christmas to you!”. The Winter Solstice falls on the shortest day of the year (21st December) and was celebrated in Britain long before the arrival of Christianity. The sun on these days appears to rise in the same spot, and set in the same spot. Of course, adherents to the new also remembered the old ways, and frequently needed reminding that it was the new religion they were now devotees of, and not the old. Celtic New Year's Eve and the third and final harvest festival. the name 'arthuan' gavin The Asheville Celtic Festival, a Winter Indoor Celtic Festival bringing the Celtic Spirit of the Seven Nations to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, will be held inside of the Davis Center at the WNC Agricultural Center giving us a comfortable setting in the winter months. The winter music festival, which is Europe’s largest, usually takes place in … A brilliant stroke! Copyright © 2021 The Examiner News. The Old Norse festival was known as “Jol”, though it is spelled in other ways. Keep in mind that the Festival Schedule does NOT include county/animal fairs, conventions/expos or events lacking the 3 essentials of a festival (food, vendors and entertainment). Cailleach Bheur (Celtic) n Scotland, she is also called Beira, the Queen of Winter. While not all are practiced today, some can still be seen—customs which date back to earlier, less commercial times. Oak and ash were particularly sacred to the Druids, as was the holly tree. Celtic Colours International Festival. In turn we are preserving and promoting the Irish and Celtic … Serve warm. The Pagan holiday called Yule takes place on the day of the winter solstice, around December 21 in the northern hemisphere (below the equator, the winter solstice falls around June 21). Join us on an Island-wide journey! Read more. Stonehenge is a celebrated venue of festivities during the winter solstice - the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere - and it attracts thousands of revelers, spiritualists and tourists. Celebrates the last harvest, the cycle of life and spirits passed. Pleasantville resident Brian McGowan was born and raised in the Bronx and is a second-, third- and fifth-generation Irish-American/Canadian, as his immigrant ancestors followed several paths to the New World. To provide a collaborative for Irish Celtic festivals from across North America to learn best practices and share successes. Oaks were seen as sacred and the winter fruit of the mistletoe was a symbol of life in the dark winter months. Join our newsletter for details on Celtic Colours 2021. A present or two was always reserved for this “end-of-season” milestone. A feis (plural feiseannan) is a traditional Gaelic arts and culture festival, currently used referring to Irish dance competitions. Strain through a cheesecloth. The ancient Romans also held a festival to celebrate the rebirth of the year. Reach him at brian.m.mcgowan1952@gmail.com or on Twitter (@Bmcgowan52M). A Road Trip with Yvette Rogers. On that day, an amazing thing happens in the sky above us. This page has been archived and is no longer updated. It was the time when the night became longer than the day, the last apples were picked, and the year began again with its dark winter half. Celtic and Druidic Priests In Scotland, before the arrival of Christianity, on the solstice, Celtic priests would cut the mistletoe that grew on the oak tree and give it as a blessing. Mid-Winter Celtic Festival. The Pagan celebration of Winter Solstice (also known as Yule) is one of the oldest winter celebrations in the world. The earth's axis tilts away from the sun in the Northern Hemisphere, and the sun reaches its greatest distance from the equatorial plane. BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. The winter solstice, which can occur anywhere between Dec. 18 and 23, marks when the sun has reached its lowest point on the horizon in the Northern Hemisphere. Imedscholar.com - crust - tracker - strength from god samain or samuin was the name of the festival (feis) marking the beginning of winter in gaelic ireland. The Norsemen of Northern Europe saw the sun as a wheel that changed the seasons. The sunrise on winter solstice was a sacred event to the ancient Celts. It was also the Druids who began the tradition of the yule log. BLAST away the January blues by tuning into Celtic Connections, Europe’s largest winter festival. ground ginger; ½ tsp. In … Celtic Winter Names - Imedscholar. Simmer gently in a large saucepan for one hour, being careful not to boil. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Bear in mind that sacred scripture says nothing definitive about when Jesus was born. Jan. 6 is called Nollaig Beag, or Little Christmas, a term I recall being used in my own family many years ago. The forecast is frigid for Regina, Saskatchewan this weekend – temperatures are expected to hover from -14 to -27 Celsius – but the city’s annual Mid-Winter Celtic Festival, which begins tonight, is sure to bring some heat. Secular. But no matter what, these festivals offer a profusion of Celtic … whole allspice; 1 tsp. In Ireland, the 25th is called Nollaig Mór, or Big Christmas. Annually hundreds of people gather in … An Irish tradition is to place a lighted candle in the window for the 12 days of Christmas. This internationally known celebration of all things Celtic has been the foundation upon which CCA has been built. Groundhog Day: 2 February; Darwin Day: 12 February; Saint Valentine's Day: 14 February The year's first sacred holiday, the feast day of Saint Brigid, … Our modern celebration of Halloween is a descendent of the ancient Celtic festival called "Samhain;" meaning Summer's End. Oaks were seen as sacred and the winter fruit of the mistletoe was a symbol of life in the dark winter months. Small wonder many of these have survived as Christian traditions. The solstice is the twice yearly event when the sun appears to be at its highest or lowest point above the horizon. For the Celts, this ushered in a 12-day period of celebration, running from Dec. 25 and ending on Jan. 6. Long before the Germanic-influenced Christmas tree made its way indoors, a bough of mistletoe would be placed inside the front entrance of a dwelling, there to garb the inhabitants with its protective magic. By the 8th century A.D., the church adopted the entire 12 days as part of the Christmas observance, and the Twelve Days of Christmas was born. About CCA. In fact, the genius of early church leaders is that they recognized that the easiest path to acceptance of a new religion would be to layer it on top of older, established themes and celebrations, rather than start anew. Find this year's date in the multifaith calendar. It wasn’t until the 4th century A.D. that church leaders superimposed the birth of Christ on an already existing celebration, the winter solstice. Of course, Celtic culture can be traced to other countries too, such as Wales and Scotland. To place an ad call 914-864-0878 or email advertising@theexaminernews.com. Because of this many ancient people had a great reverence for, and even worshipped the sun. He is the author of two books, “Thunder at Noon,” about the battle of Waterloo, and “Love, Son John,” about World War II. The winter solstice celebrates the shortest day of the year and, depending on the year, occurs between December 21-23. Both are available at Amazon.com. The "Fleadh nan Mairbh" Feast of the Dead to honour the past clan souls. A key ingredient of Celtic celebrations was mistletoe, a revered healing and fertility plant found mainly on oak, ash and apple trees. The festival also involved decorating houses with greenery, lighting candles, holding processions and giving presents. As ever, there will be performances from up and coming musicians in New England as well as long time participants, internationally touring artists who call New England home as well as those better known close to home. Satanism. In the northern hemisphere the Winter solstice usually occurs annually between December 20 and December 23. The seasons and weather played a very important part in their lives. The Druids (Celtic … Over the centuries, pagan Celtic customs merged with Christianity to produce some uniquely Celtic Christmas traditions for the winter festival. Samhain marked the annual divide between the lighter half (summer) and the darker half (winter). Druids, a pagan religious order dating back to Celtic Britain, believe Stonehenge was a center of spiritualism more than 2,000 years ago. Called Yule, it is one of the traditional Celtic fire festivals and marks the return of the light after the longest night of the year. Evergreen branches, holly, mistletoe and yew all have their roots in pre-Christian times. Many religious traditions and observances have their roots in pre-Christian beliefs, and Christmas is no exception. All rights reserved. celtic festival The Boston Celtic Music Festival is in its 18th year, and this time it’s all online starting on the 14th. But the most important date in the festive season for Pagans is the winter solstice which always takes place around December 21. By the 8 th century A.D., the church adopted the entire 12 days as part of the Christmas observance, and the Twelve Days of Christmas was born. If you want festival listings for specific areas of Michigan, I currently have a listing for the greater Detroit area and the Upper Peninsula. However, few are as celebrated as Scotland’s own ‘National Bard’, Robert Burns, who we pay tribute to on 25 January each year. The Celts thought that the sun stood still for twelve days in the middle of winter and during this time a log was lit to conquer the darkness, banish evil spirits and bring luck for the coming year. Most of the remaining cattle were slaughtered to save on feeding them and the wine and ale made throughout the year was fermented and ready to drink. Preparation to survive the winter, confront the possibility of death was paramount. [22] Among Reclaiming tradition Witches, this is the traditional time for pledges and rededications for the coming year [23] and for initiation among Dianic Wiccans . Ingredients: 1 magnum of good quality red wine; 1 ½ tsp. Ancient people were hunters and spent most of their time outdoors. 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