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Author Topic: Celtic Recon/Druid Holidays  (Read 16954 times)
Kasmira
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« Topic Start: March 25, 2007, 02:13:52 pm »

I have been surfing around the web for information on the holidays that were celebrated by the Druids. I keep finding conflicting information about names and timing. On quiet a number of sites all I am finding is the Wiccan calendar. Can any Celtic Recons, or anyone else for that matter, please either give me a quick explanation or point me towards a reputable website.

Thanks  Smiley !
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Aster Breo
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« Reply #1: March 25, 2007, 02:21:30 pm »

I have been surfing around the web for information on the holidays that were celebrated by the Druids. I keep finding conflicting information about names and timing. On quiet a number of sites all I am finding is the Wiccan calendar. Can any Celtic Recons, or anyone else for that matter, please either give me a quick explanation or point me towards a reputable website.

Thanks  Smiley !

As far as we know, the ancient Celts celebrated the fire festivals (aka the quarter days or cross quarter days):  Samhain, Imbolc, Beltain, Lughnassadh.  There is no evidence that they celebrated the solar festivals (equinoxes and solstices), but there is also no evidence that they did NOT celebrate them.

See:

http://paganachd.com/faq/index.html  (general CD FAQ)
http://paganachd.com/faq/ritual.html#whatholidays  (specifically about the holidays)
http://community.livejournal.com/cr_r/223216.html  (recent relevant conversation on the CR LJ community)

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Kasmira
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« Reply #2: March 25, 2007, 03:14:03 pm »

As far as we know, the ancient Celts celebrated the fire festivals (aka the quarter days or cross quarter days):  Samhain, Imbolc, Beltain, Lughnassadh.  There is no evidence that they celebrated the solar festivals (equinoxes and solstices), but there is also no evidence that they did NOT celebrate them.

Thanks! I am checking out those sites at the moment.
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Juni
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« Reply #3: March 26, 2007, 01:03:30 pm »

As far as we know, the ancient Celts celebrated the fire festivals (aka the quarter days or cross quarter days):  Samhain, Imbolc, Beltain, Lughnassadh.  There is no evidence that they celebrated the solar festivals (equinoxes and solstices), but there is also no evidence that they did NOT celebrate them.

See:

http://paganachd.com/faq/index.html  (general CD FAQ)
http://paganachd.com/faq/ritual.html#whatholidays  (specifically about the holidays)
http://community.livejournal.com/cr_r/223216.html  (recent relevant conversation on the CR LJ community)

The only other holiday I really know of honors Manannan right around the Summer Solstice, but it's not a universal CR holiday.

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Kasmira
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« Reply #4: March 26, 2007, 04:26:53 pm »

The only other holiday I really know of honors Manannan right around the Summer Solstice, but it's not a universal CR holiday.
OK, so four major holidays and then some to honor different gods and goddesses, right? Thanks Moon Ivy and Juni, this really helps  Smiley .
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« Reply #5: March 26, 2007, 08:19:48 pm »

I have been surfing around the web for information on the holidays that were celebrated by the Druids. I keep finding conflicting information about names and timing. On quiet a number of sites all I am finding is the Wiccan calendar. Can any Celtic Recons, or anyone else for that matter, please either give me a quick explanation or point me towards a reputable website.

Thanks  Smiley !

In Gods and Fighting Men by Lady Gregory (very good book for Irish mythology) the stories mention Lunasaugh, Samhain, Beltain. I personally only celebrate Beltain and Samhain, as Lunasaugh is more of a community celebration. It is funerary games in memory of Lunasaugh's foster mother.

Phouka
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« Reply #6: March 27, 2007, 12:03:37 am »

In Gods and Fighting Men by Lady Gregory (very good book for Irish mythology) the stories mention Lunasaugh, Samhain, Beltain. I personally only celebrate Beltain and Samhain, as Lunasaugh is more of a community celebration. It is funerary games in memory of Lunasaugh's foster mother.

Phouka

I suspect Imbolc is not mentioned as much because it occurs on February 1, which is still winter, so it probably wasn't celebrated as a large community festival like the ones that fall in the warmer months.  There is a lot of historical support for Imbolc traditions that were home- and hearth-based, though.
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« Reply #7: March 27, 2007, 07:54:46 pm »

OK, so four major holidays and then some to honor different gods and goddesses, right? Thanks Moon Ivy and Juni, this really helps  Smiley .

Some folks who focus on a specific Celtic culture might have additional celebrations in addition to the four Cross Quarter days, yes. For example, the Gaulish goddess Epona is known to have had a feast day in December (18th, I think) - but that was under Roman influence.

In Scottish folk tradition it was said that the Cailleach began her reign of the winter months at Samhain, with Brigid triumphing over her at Imbolc, allowing spring to begin. But it wasn't until March 25th (traditionally associated with the equinox, apparently) that the Cailleach finally gave up her efforts at bringing back the cold weather - after Imbolc the Cailleach was said to roam the fields and streams with her wand, causing frost, and it wasn't until March 25th that she was finally defeated. Some recons who focus on Scottish practises, like myself, add this day to the ritual calendar, but personally I don't go all out as I do with the Cross Quarter days.
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Kasmira
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« Reply #8: March 27, 2007, 07:55:12 pm »

In Gods and Fighting Men by Lady Gregory (very good book for Irish mythology) the stories mention Lunasaugh, Samhain, Beltain. I personally only celebrate Beltain and Samhain, as Lunasaugh is more of a community celebration. It is funerary games in memory of Lunasaugh's foster mother.

I will try to find that book, sounds interesting!
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« Reply #9: March 27, 2007, 07:56:56 pm »

I will try to find that book, sounds interesting!

It is. I got my first copy when I was in Ireland as it wasn't in print at that time in the US. However, I've seen it on Amazon.

Phouka
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Kasmira
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« Reply #10: March 27, 2007, 08:15:54 pm »

Some folks who focus on a specific Celtic culture might have additional celebrations in addition to the four Cross Quarter days, yes. For example, the Gaulish goddess Epona is known to have had a feast day in December (18th, I think) - but that was under Roman influence.

In Scottish folk tradition it was said that the Cailleach began her reign of the winter months at Samhain, with Brigid triumphing over her at Imbolc, allowing spring to begin. But it wasn't until March 25th (traditionally associated with the equinox, apparently) that the Cailleach finally gave up her efforts at bringing back the cold weather - after Imbolc the Cailleach was said to roam the fields and streams with her wand, causing frost, and it wasn't until March 25th that she was finally defeated. Some recons who focus on Scottish practises, like myself, add this day to the ritual calendar, but personally I don't go all out as I do with the Cross Quarter days.

Thanks. The Cailleach story is very interesting.
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« Reply #11: March 27, 2007, 09:15:43 pm »

Thanks. The Cailleach story is very interesting.

If you're particularly interested in stories about/involving the Cailleach, check out The Book of the Cailleach by Gearoid O. Crualaoic. It's Irish folklore rather than Scottish, but it's a fabulous book (and now available in softcover, too).


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« Reply #12: March 27, 2007, 10:34:54 pm »

I will try to find that book, sounds interesting!

You can read the whole thing here; it's hosted at sacred-texts.com.
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Kasmira
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« Reply #13: March 28, 2007, 06:28:19 pm »

If you're particularly interested in stories about/involving the Cailleach, check out The Book of the Cailleach by Gearoid O. Crualaoic. It's Irish folklore rather than Scottish, but it's a fabulous book (and now available in softcover, too).
Thanks, my list of books to read is getting ever longer!
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Flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss - Douglas Adams
To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all - Oscar Wilde
The road to nowhere: My little foray into the blogoshpere
Kasmira
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« Reply #14: March 28, 2007, 06:29:14 pm »

You can read the whole thing here; it's hosted at sacred-texts.com.
Looks good, thanks.
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Flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss - Douglas Adams
To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all - Oscar Wilde
The road to nowhere: My little foray into the blogoshpere

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