In honor of the upcoming Mother’s Day; I’m going to share some information about a particularly ancient symbol. Sheela na gigs are figurative carvings of naked women found on churches, castles, and other buildings, particularly in Ireland and Great Britain.
We are entering into Spring with expectations of warming suns; yet we still have a chill in the air. Early March is the perfect time to curl up with a great radio program such as Celtic Faire and a nice warming glass of whiskey at our side. The question is: Do you spell whiskey with an “E”
No matter how you spell it, whiskey is an umbrella term for a type of spirit distilled from a mash of fermented grains.
Saint Patrick, who lived during the fifth century, is the patron saint and national apostle of Ireland. Born in Roman Britain, he was kidnapped and brought to Ireland as a slave at the age of 16. He later escaped, but returned to Ireland and was credited with bringing Christianity to its people. In the centuries following Patrick's death (believed to have been on March 17, 461 A.D.
The Great Kilt is also known as the "breacan an fheilidh" or "feile mor". The first known reference to this mode of dress was made in 1594 in The Life of Red Hugh O’Donnell in a description of a corps of Hebrideans who had come to The O’Donnell’s assistance: “They were recognised among the Irish soldiers by the distinction of their arms and clothing, their habits and language, for their exterior dress was mottled cloaks of many colours with a fringe to their shins and calves, their belts were over their loins outside their cloaks."
In the Irish Neolithic period, the significance of the date of Imbolc has been based on the arrangement of a number of Megalithic monuments, such as the Mound of the Hostages at the Hill of Tara. At this site in County Meath the inner chamber of the passage tomb is aligned with the rising sun on the dates of Imbolc and Samhain.
Today, Imbolc is usually called Brighid's Day or Saint Brighid's Day. Brigid (also known as Brighid, Bríde, Brìd) is the Gaelic goddess of poetry, healing and smithcraft.
Haggis is a savory pudding containing sheep's pluck, which is the heart, liver and lungs of a mature sheep; minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and traditionally encased in the animal's stomach and simmered for approximately three hours.
Most modern commercial haggis is prepared in a sausage casing rather than an actual stomach.
As the 2001 English edition of the Larousse Gastronomique puts it, "Although its description is not immediately appealing, haggis has an excellent nutty texture and delicious savory flavor".
The Scots Guards are a band that was formed by British King Charles I in 1642. It is known that in 1716 a small band of "hautbouys" existed; (otherwise known as Oboes) however, the precise origins of the Band of the Scots Guards are unknown.
The Scots Guard grew during the early part of the 19th century and by 1838 could boast some 32 performers. Throughout the 19th century the band expanded until, in 1888, there was an establishment of 44.