John Anthony Brennan's Blog Posts Tagged 'Folklore' (13)

St. Valentine and the Irish Connection

Saint Valentine

Born: 226 AD, Terni, Italy

Died: February 14, 269 AD, Rome, Italy

Full name: Valentine of Terni 

Valentine was a Christian priest who had also worked as a doctor and ministered to persecuted Christians and Romans alike. He lived in Italy during the third century AD and served as a priest in Rome. Historians don’t…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on February 12, 2022 at 1:30pm — No Comments

The Link Between Ned Kelly and South Armagh

On this day January 7, 1841, John "Red" Kelly, the father of the infamous Australian outlaw Ned Kelly, was sentenced to seven years transportation for stealing two pigs in an effort to feed his starving family. The judge handed down the harsh sentence at the Cashel quarter sessions in County Tipperary. He…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on January 9, 2022 at 7:30pm — No Comments

New Year in Ireland

Home to some of the most unique superstitions in the world and a whole host of traditions dating back centuries, the arrival of a new year has always been a time of hope and excitement in Ireland.

Irish New Years Eve traditions in Ireland long ago were important in that they determined the luck of…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on January 1, 2022 at 8:30pm — No Comments

Hunting the Druid's Bird.

“The wran, the wran, the king of all birds,

on Stephen's day was caught in the furze.

His body is little but his family is sweet

so rise up landlady and give us a treat.

And if your treat be of the best

your soul in heaven can then find its rest.

And if your treat be…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on December 25, 2021 at 7:26pm — 2 Comments

Under the Mistletoe

Kissing a wife or lover under the mistletoe at Christmas is derived from an old Roman custom that honored the god Saturn. The Romans associated mistletoe with peace, love, and understanding and hung it over doorways to protect the household, as well as protection from witches and demons. Hanging…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on December 13, 2021 at 11:30am — No Comments

Samhain: Celtic New Beginning.

In the early evening they would gather in the grove, beneath the sheltering embrace of the sacred white oak tree. The Master had carefully dowsed the area, and had chosen it for the serene beauty and peaceful aura. The salmon-filled, crystal clear waters of the river wound a course through the…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on October 28, 2021 at 6:58pm — 9 Comments

The Green Valley

I've been down in the green valley, the holy place.

The one where the pagan and saint walk the
blessed earth yet still, in silent mystic. The one…
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Added by John Anthony Brennan on March 20, 2021 at 8:00pm — 9 Comments

The Pavees of Slieve Gullion

Slieve Gullion (from Irish: Sliabh gCuillinn, meaning "hill of the steep slope" or Sliabh Cuilinn, "Culann's mountain") is an extinct volcanic mountain in the south of County Armagh, Ireland. The mountain is the heart of the Ring of Gullion and is the highest point in the county, with an elevation…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on December 11, 2020 at 7:00pm — No Comments

The History Behind Lughnasa

At the Ould Lammas Fair boys were you ever there

Were you ever at the Fair In Ballycastle-O?

Did you treat your Mary Ann

To some Dulse and Yellow Man

At the…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on August 1, 2017 at 6:30pm — 3 Comments

Gullion: Mountain of Steep Slopes

Photo of Gullion courtesy of Colin Boyle.

I am Gullion, old as time itself, older than the pre-dawn of life, forged in the crucible of a ring of fire, before man existed. Up here the air is pure and fresh and crisp as the frost of winter’s breath. I’ve seen it all from up here, here by the bottomless lake, here beside…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on August 6, 2016 at 10:30pm — 10 Comments

The Gardeners

"Hey boy, who am I going to leave these hands to when I’m gone?”

A long silence…then the words were repeated, louder and more animated.

“I say, who will I leave them to, eh? I think I’ll leave them to science.”

Again, the words fell on deaf ears and were greeted with total silence…

Those immortal words were uttered by my father, Mal, as he…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on June 30, 2015 at 2:30pm — 4 Comments

The Apparition

It was Samhain, the night when the veil between worlds was parted, the night when the spirits would come back to earth and commune with earthly mortals. As a child, he had often heard the tales told around the fireside but as he grew older, he dismissed them as harmless ghost stories…

The…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on October 19, 2014 at 6:00am — 3 Comments

The Dalin' Man from Crossmaglen.

The dealing man can still be found in every market square and bazzar in towns and villages around the world. Their nationalities and languages may be different but the art of dealing always follows the same ancient ways. Dealing men were expected to look the part at all times and had a common mode of dress with only slight…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on September 3, 2014 at 7:30am — 5 Comments

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