Archive for the 'Holidays' Category

Mar 15 2014

Watch Chicago go Green on St. Patrick’s Day 2014

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Jet Propelled Leprechaun 2013

Jet Propelled Leprechaun 2013

Pic: Global Change-Makers

It’s nearly St. Patrick’s Day. Starting today. here’s a rundown from the Courier News of events this weekend to help everyone feel a little bit Irish. For those who don’t know about St. Patrick’s Day, it’s a holiday which celebrates Irish heritage and culture and the arrival of Christianity to the Emerald Isle. In Chicago, it’s an excuse to drink green beer, go to a pub, and pretend you’re Irish even if you aren’t.

Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Noon, March 15

chicagostpatsparade.com

Come at 10 a.m. to watch the Chicago River get dyed green, stay for the city’s official St. Patrick’s Day parade. The best place to watch the river getting dyed is at the intersection of Michigan Avenue, Wacker Drive and the river. This year’s grand marshal John McDonough, president and CEO of the Chicago Blackhawks. The parade starts at Balbo and Columbus and proceeds north on Columbus to Monroe. The viewing stand will be located in front of Buckingham Fountain.

South Side Irish Parade

Noon, March 16

Western Avenue from 103rd to 115th streets, Chicago

The South Side Irish Parade is now a family-friendly event with a zero-tolerance policy for alcohol along the route, although some responsible pre-gaming in one of the watering holes along Western Avenue is not discouraged.

(773) 916-7757

southsideirishparade.org

The Chicago Stockyard Kilty band

The Chicago Stockyard Kilty band

Pic: South Side Irish Parade

Last year’s parade attracted 90 participants, from kilted bagpipers to rosy-cheeked dancers and even a pack of Irish Wolfhounds.

The day kicks off with a one-mile fun run called The Emerald Isle Mile.

Northwest Side Irish Parade

10 a.m. March 16

William J. Onahan School, 6634 W. Raven St.

northwestsideirish.org

The Northwest Irish Parade is a celebration of faith, family and heritage now in its 11th year. The parade includes face painting, balloons and features dancers from the Dillon-Gavin School of Dance. The official After Party starts at 1 p.m. at Immaculate Conception Recreation Center, 7211 W. Talcott Ave., Chicago. Tickets are $10 for 12 and over; children under 12 are $5. The party includes traditional corned beef and cabbage meal with live entertainment.

St. Patrick’s Festival

Irish American Heritage Center

Irish American Heritage Center

Pic: Irish American Heritage Center

March 15-17

Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N. Knox Ave.

(773) 282-7035

Irish-american.org

The Irish American Heritage Center hosts three days of St. Patrick’s Day follies starting immediately after the city’s parade March 15. This annual family-friendly event includes traditional and contemporary Irish music, dance, food, children’s activities and an Arts and Craft Fair, with vendors selling Irish gifts. Tickets are $12-$15.

On March 16, stop in for a pint, live music, NCAA games on the large TV screens, darts and a limited traditional Irish menu. Hours are from 1 to 8 p.m. 21 and over only.

Come back March 17 for the St. Patrick’s Day Celebration. The party runs from 12 to 10 p.m. and includes music, dance and face painting for children. There will be a mass at 11 a.m. $10 at the door; kids are free.

Shoreline Sightseeing River Cruise

March 15

Shorelinesightseeing.com/cruisestours/special-events/st-patricks-day-cruise

Last year, I took my family downtown to see the green Chicago River. It was a raw, grey day, we had to walk forever (not fun with young children) and on more than one occasion I had to cover the kids’ ears from hearing too much o’ the blarney.

Learn from my mistake and get an up-close view of the green Chicago River via a Shoreline Sightseeing Cruise.

Departures for the 90-minute cruise are before and after the city’s St. Patrick’s Day noontime parade March 15, and it includes a traditional Irish buffet with corned beef and cabbage and all the trimmings. You can even get an Irish coffee or a pint at the cash bar. Tickets are $49.

Suburbs

Naperville

St. Patrick’s Day Parade and St. Paddy’s Day 5K

March 15

Naperville

Wsirish.org

Everyone’s Irish at the 21st annual West Suburban Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade on March 15. The parade kicks off at 10 a.m. from Naperville North High School at 899 N. Mill St. The parade continues south on Mill Street, east on Jefferson Avenue, south on Main Street and west on Water Street to the Municipal Center.

West Suburban Irish

West Suburban Irish

Pic: West Suburban Irish

All residents are encouraged to donate a non-perishable food item to benefit the Loaves and Fishes Community Food Pantry.

The parade steps off immediately following the Rotary Club of Naperville/Sunrise St. Paddy’s Day 5K. The fun continues at Quigley’s Irish Pub after the parade. The parade will include nearly 100 entries comprised of marching bands, youth groups, local businesses, politicians and other groups.

Of course there will be traditional Irish trappings, like six different pipe and drum groups and two schools of Irish dancers, said West Suburban Irish president Chuck Corrigan.

At the end of the parade this year, we are going to have some interesting things. We will have the Aurora Area Shrine Club with their small cars and the Medinah Motor Corp, which is some Harley motorcycles that drive in precision units and do little tricks. We’ll also have Mongo Man from bd’s Mongolian Grill.

No matter the weather, the crowds are always enthusiastic, he said.

I think they enjoy getting outside. It feels like the kickoff to spring for a lot of folks.

The grand marshal is Mike Reilly, who serves on the Naperville Park Board and is a member of West Suburban Irish.

St. Charles St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Downtown St. Charles Parade

Downtown St. Charles Parade

Pic: Downtown St. Charles

March 15

Downtownstcharles.org/events/st-patricks-parade/

The St. Patrick’s Parade goes down Main Street (Route 64) at 2 p.m. and features Irish dancers, Irish music, floats and more. There will also be a Deck Out Your Lucky Dog contest; register at the tent in front of the Municipal Center between 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Before that, come to the Arcada Theater for a St. Patrick’s Dance show at 10 a.m. Several local dance studios will perform.

East Dundee St. Patrick’s Day Parade

March 15

Downtown East Dundee

Dundeestpats.com

There will be a celebratory fireworks show on March 14, and the parade is at 11 a.m. The grandstand is at Barrington Avenue and River Street. There will be bands, step dancers, stilt walkers, horses, cavalry, green footballs and an Irish Princess contest for 12-16-year-old girls living in Dundee Township. The FISH Food Pantry will be accepting food and cash donations during parade.

Irish Jig Jog 5K Race

March 15

St. Catherine of Siena, 845 W. Main St., West Dundee

Irishjigjog.com

The 10th Annual Irish Jig Jog kicks off at 8:30 a.m. March 15 at St. Catherine of Siena. The event includes breakfast, a beer tent, bagpipers, Irish dancing and a $10,000 Shamrock Raffle.

Irish Jig Jogging

Irish Jig Jogging

Pic: Irish Jig Jog

Shamrock Scramble

10-11 a.m. March 16

Schaumburg Park District, 505 N. Springinsguth Road, Schaumburg

(847) 490-7020

Parkfun.com

Geared to the 6-and-under set, children can make a St. Patrick’s Day craft and have a snack before heading out into field of green clovers. Each clover includes a treat. Find a four-leaf clover and win a prize. Wear your best St. Patrick’s Day attire. Pre-registration is required by March 14. $5-$7.

This list of events has been sourced from the ‘Go Irish’ column of the Courier-News.

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You can also now download a Celtic Myth Podshow App from the iTunes store. This is the most convenient and reliable way to access the Celtic Myth Podshow on your iPhone or iPod Touch. You’re always connected to the latest episode, and our App users have access to exclusive bonus content, just touch and play! To find out more visit the iTunes Store or our Description Page.

 

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You can now also find an Android version of the App which works identically to the iPhone version. You can find it on Amazon or by clicking the image to the right.

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You can now also find the Windows 8 Phone App in the Windows 8 Phone Store.

Windows 8 Phone App

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Mar 01 2014

St. David’s Day celebrations roll out across the World for 2014

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Welsh Children in traditional costume

Welsh Children in traditional costume

Pic: Wales.com

Show your Welsh spirit on Wales’ national day and proudly wear that daffodil or wave your Welsh flag with passion at Cardiff’s official St David’s Day Celebrations in 2014. Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Sant, St. David’s Day, is famous for letting children take part in the Eisteddfodau. From the 27 February – 2 March, Cardiff Council with partners the St David’s Day Committee have put together an exciting and cultural festival in honour of St David and all things Welsh!

Who was St. David?

Saint David (Welsh: Dewi Sant) was born towards the end of the 5th century. He was a scion of the royal house of Ceredigion, and founded a Celtic monastic community at Glyn Rhosyn (The Vale of Roses) on the western headland of Pembrokeshire (Sir Benfro), at the spot where St David’s Cathedral stands today. David’s fame as a teacher and ascetic spread throughout the Celtic world. His foundation at Glyn Rhosin became an important Christian shrine, and the most important centre in Wales. The date of Saint David’s death is recorded as 1 March, but the year is uncertain – possibly 588. As his tearful monks prepared for his death Saint David uttered these words:

“Brothers be ye constant. The yoke which with single mind ye have taken, bear ye to the end; and whatsoever ye have seen with me and heard, keep and fulfil.”

St. David from Jesus Chapel

St. David from Jesus Chapel

Pic: Wiki

For centuries, 1 March has been a national festival. Saint David was recognised as a national patron saint at the height of Welsh resistance to the Normans. Saint David’s Day was celebrated by Welsh diaspora from the late Middle Ages. Indeed, the 17th-century diarist Samuel Pepys noted how Welsh celebrations in London for Saint David’s Day would spark wider counter-celebrations amongst their English neighbours: life-sized effigies of Welshmen were symbolically lynched, and by the 18th century the custom had arisen of confectioners producing “taffies”—gingerbread figures baked in the shape of a Welshman riding a goat—on Saint David’s Day.

Saint David’s Day is not a national holiday in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Similarly in the United States of America, it has regularly been celebrated, although it is not an official holiday. It is invariably celebrated by Welsh societies throughout the world with dinners, parties, and eisteddfodau (recitals and concerts).

Where did the Red Dragon Banner come from?

In the poem Armes Prydain, composed in the early to mid-tenth century AD, the anonymous author prophesies that the Cymry (the Welsh people) will unite and join an alliance of fellow-Celts to repel the Anglo-Saxons, under the banner of Saint David: A lluman glân Dewi a ddyrchafant (And they will raise the pure banner of Dewi). Although there were periodic Welsh uprisings in the Middle Ages, the country was not united as a kingdom. In 1485, Henry VII of England, whose ancestry was partly Welsh, became King of England after victory at the Battle of Bosworth Field; his green and white banner, with a red dragon, was adapted in 1959 to become the new Flag of Wales. Henry was the first monarch of the House of Tudor: during this dynasty the royal coat of arms included a Welsh dragon, a reference to the monarch’s origins. The Flag of Saint David, though, is a golden cross on a black background: this was not originally part of the symbolism of Henry VII of England. [Wiki]

World-Wide Celebrations, starting in Wales..

St. David's Parade

St. David’s Parade

Pic: Cardiff Council

Cardiff – The annual St David’s Day parade takes place on 1 March each year. A colourful parade takes place in the city centre. See pictures of previous year’s parades on the Wales.com Flickr page. In 2014 the parade takes a different route from usual, with musical entertainment in Cardiff Castle. The Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay will be marking St David’s Day with a weekend celebrating Wales’ past, present and future.

In the evening the BBC National Orchestra of Wales will perform a Gala Concert at St David’s Hall. On 2 March St David’s Day Road Races – 5k and 10k take place in Bute Park. In Pontypridd there will be entertainment in the town centre and Tom the musical about Tom Jones premieres on 1 March. The Porthcawl Interceltic Festival starts on St David’s Day and runs until Sunday 3 March. Its Redhouse Open Day at Merthyr Tydfil with lots of activities in the Old Town Hall that has been reopened as a new arts and creative industries centre in the heart of the town.

The annual Oriel y Parc Dragon Parade is taking place in St Davids on 1 March, as part of a packed schedule of events. There will be parades across Wales including in Aberystwyth, CaernarfonLlandudno and Wrexham, plus a variety of St David’s Day Celebrations in Bargoed, Blackwood, Caerphilly And Risca Town Centre, Caerphilly. In Swansea there’s a variety of things going on including a cookery workshop and an opportunity taste some local delicacies in Swansea Market and the Get Welsh Food Festival in Castle Square.

There are St David’s Day walks including a snowdrop walk and a mystery walk (both organised by the Ramblers Cymru). In Bala there’s a world record attempt for the biggest Welsh cake! Welsh museums are holding events to celebrate the National Day. The National Botanic Garden of Wales has a daffodil festival throughout March, with a mixture of guided tours, an indoor talk, exhibition and outdoor trail spread across 5 weekends. On St David’s Day there will be a special talk and family activities.

In Crickhowell there’s a Walking Torchlight procession and singalong Crug Hywel, Tablet Mt, Crickhowell as part of the Crickhowell Walking Festival. The Orient Express has a Welsh-themed lunch, with a round trip through the beautiful countryside time in Fishguard where the Northern Belle arrives, or join the coach transfer and spend time in St Davids.

In the rest of the UK

Many buildings in the UK fly the Welsh flag and restaurants create special Welsh menus. In Sussex there’s an opportunity to meet Rugby legend Scott Quinnell on 28 February. Bradford & District St. David’s Society – will meet the deputy mayor of Bradford on 1 March at city hall for morning tea. Y Ddraig Goch will fly over city hall and its bells will play a medley of welsh tunes. In the evening there will be a lively Noson Lawen. 2 March the society has a gala luncheon for members, guests and friends to celebrate all things Welsh. The Green Man Festival is decamping to Cecil Sharp House in London to celebrate St David’s Day with BBC Radiophonic Workshop, 9 Bach, The Gentle Good and more.
Welsh Daffodil & Dragon Symbols

Welsh Daffodil & Dragon Symbols

Pic: Cardiff Council

The Hwyl event takes place on 1 March 2014 with a full 10-hour programme of music, storytelling and Welsh food and ales. St David’s Day Dinner, London at the Royal College of Surgeons, Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London, Speakers: Professor Dai Smith, Chair of the Arts Council of Wales, Historian and Novelist Gwyneth Lewis, Poet. Artists: Performance from Joshua Owen Mills and Charlotte Skidmore, Accompanist: Meirion Wynn Jones.

In London there will be events and special Welsh menus at some restaurants. There are a variety of events at the London Welsh centre in the lead up to and on St David’s Day.

Celebrations around the world

Welsh Traditional Costume

Welsh Traditional Costume

Pic: Cardiff Council

There are a variety of events in North America. Los Angeles St David’s Day Fest – Participants from Wales, Welsh descendants and Welsh ex-pats will all converge on the Cinefamily Silent Movie Theater in Hollywood, California on Saturday 1 March 2014 for the 2014 Los Angeles St. David’s Day Festival featuring Meinir Gwilym. In Washington DC on 22 February there’s a St David’s Day celebration banquet with Welsh soloist Ellen Williams. The Welsh Society of Western New England has a St. David’s Day luncheon on Saturday, March 1st The Nutmeg Restaurant, East Windsor, Connecticut, USA.

Daffs and Leeks, Salmon, Y Ddraig Goch, The National Anthem. Contact WelshWNE@gmail com for tickets, membership info. The Welsh Society of Central Ohio is raising the Welsh flag at the Ohio Statehouse on Friday 28 February and hosting a luncheon on St. David’s day. In Chicago it’s The Chicago Tafia’s annual St. David’s Day party “Cawl & Cocktails”. The Wrigley Building will be lit up in white, red and green to celebrate St David’s Day.

People in Patagonia will celebrate St David’s Day in the Andes at the Patagonia Celtica. The two day festival celebrates all Celtic countries. Disneyland Paris will host a St David’s Welsh festival from 7-9 March 2014. In Melbourne, Australia the Victoria Welsh Male Choir and Ceredigion Women’s Institute Choir perform at the St David’s Day Celtic Concert on 28 February 2014. In Sydney, Australia on 1 March there’s a special St David’s day celebration concert by the Sydney Welsh Choir also featuring special guest soloist from wales: Menna Cazel Davies.

The details for this article have been sourced from Cardiff Council, Wales.Com and Wiki.

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You can also now download a Celtic Myth Podshow App from the iTunes store. This is the most convenient and reliable way to access the Celtic Myth Podshow on your iPhone or iPod Touch. You’re always connected to the latest episode, and our App users have access to exclusive bonus content, just touch and play! To find out more visit the iTunes Store or our Description Page.

 

iphone

You can now also find an Android version of the App which works identically to the iPhone version. You can find it on Amazon or by clicking the image to the right.

CMP App on Amazon

You can now also find the Windows 8 Phone App in the Windows 8 Phone Store.

Windows 8 Phone App

If you come to the site and listen or listen from one of our players – have you considered subscribing? It’s easy and you automatically get the episodes on your computer when they come out. If you’re unsure about the whole RSS/Subscribing thing take a look at our Help page.

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Feb 19 2014

Re-making the Wassail Bowl link in Bodmin

roundred
Pic: Capitol Hill.
The link between Bodmin’s ancient wassailing tradition and the town council has been re-forged after hundreds of years reports This Is Cornwall.

Councillors have agreed to display the wassail bowl at Shire House, along with a history of the custom that dates back to the early 17th century.

On the 12th day of Christmas, wassailers visit homes, pubs and shops, and offer ale from the bowl, and collect donations to charity.

This particular form of wassailing is unique to Bodmin. Present town clerk Paul O’Callaghan is keen to follow in the footsteps of one of his predecessors, Nicholas Srey, and engage in the event. Continue Reading »

Originally posted 2009-03-05 09:10:11. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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Feb 16 2014

Celebrating the Welsh Arts, Language and Culture in Los Angeles on St David’s Day

Los Angeles Festival Poster

Los Angeles Festival Poster

Pic: A Raven Above

This upcoming St. David’s Day marks the second annual Welsh festival in Los Angeles, where participants from Wales, Welsh descendants and Welsh ex-pats will all converge on the Cinefamily Silent Movie Theater in Hollywood, California on March 1st for the 2014 Los Angeles St. David’s Day Festival-Grand Concert. The festival promises to be a smashing hit with headliner Meinir Gwilym making her North American debut. Additionally, accomplished harpsichordist Christopher D. Lewis from Rhiwbina will be performing a set of British and Welsh tunes, while the angelic harmonies of the Welsh Choir of Southern California will rejoice in Welsh tradition, and beginning the concert will be the beautiful harp music of Aedan MacDonnell. Included in the festivities will be a Welsh language workshop by Jason Shepherd of Swansea, Welsh food and gifts, book release encompassing artists from Wales and the US, and crafts for the kids. Everyone is encouraged to join and learn the exciting history and culture of Welsh and Welsh Americans.

The Festival Line-up and Meinir Gwilym

Meinir Gwilym headlines the 2014 St. David’s Day Festival in Hollywood at the Cinefamily Silent Movie Theater, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, CA.  Festival Curator Lorin Morgan-Richards states:

I’m very excited to see the reaction of attendees when Meinir Gwilym takes the stage. There is no greater musician right now that has yet to perform in the states.

Meinir will be performing songs from her upcoming album which will be available at the show. The Cinefamily Silent Movie Theater is a historic venue that has seen many famous faces grace its stage as guests from Vaudeville up through contemporary acts, and being in Hollywood, the Welsh festival also has had generous support from Welsh stars like Michael Sheen, Ioan Gruffudd, Henry Thomas, and the families of Richard Burton and Frank Lloyd Wright.

Meinir Gwilym

Meinir Gwilym

Pic: A Raven Above

The Grand Concert will also be featuring Welsh harpsichordist Christopher D. Lewis. Christopher was born in Rhiwbina, Wales, and moved to North America in 2005 to study harpsichord with Luc Beausejour & Hank Knox at McGill University, Montreal. Since that time he has received outstanding recognition and accolades for his performances internationally. Christopher will be performing a special set dedicated to British and Welsh composers (and he will be playing on the harpsichord that appeared in the movie Titanic).

The Grand Concert

They are also excited by the return of the Welsh Choir of Southern California (Cor Cymraeg De Califfornia) to the Grand Concert stage. Under the direction of Tony Davis, the choir performs Welsh traditional and hymnal music and believes in the power of music to restore our faith in life, in ourselves, and in each other. The Choir’s repertoire is one hundred percent Welsh, with approximately two-thirds sung in the Welsh language and one-third in English.

Aedan MacDonnell

Aedan MacDonnell

Pic: A Raven Above

To begin the Grand Concert, we will have a special performance by harpist Aedan MacDonnell. Aedan was introduced to Celtic music in her early twenties, and while browsing through music books at a local music store, ran across a book entitled, “The Celtic Harp, A Collection of the finest Old Airs & Dance Tunes from Ireland, Scotland & Wales. She bought the book and fell even more in love with Celtic music. This was the turning point of her musical life. Within a week she left classical music behind, turned to Celtic, and bought a harp. Aedan then studied Celtic harp in the U.S. and in Ireland. She continued her journey into the world of Celtic music performing at festivals, radio shows and as a guest harper on several albums. She currently plays harp, accordion, keyboards and percussive dance with several groups in the Los Angeles area.

You can read more about the Festival and book your tickets on the Festival website.

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You can also now download a Celtic Myth Podshow App from the iTunes store. This is the most convenient and reliable way to access the Celtic Myth Podshow on your iPhone or iPod Touch. You’re always connected to the latest episode, and our App users have access to exclusive bonus content, just touch and play! To find out more visit the iTunes Store or our Description Page.

 

iphone

You can now also find an Android version of the App which works identically to the iPhone version. You can find it on Handster at http://www.handster.com/celtic_myth.html or by using the QR code opposite. It’s also found on the Opera Marketplace in the US.

You can now also find the Windows 8 Phone App in the Windows 8 Phone Store.

Windows 8 Phone App

If you come to the site and listen or listen from one of our players – have you considered subscribing? It’s easy and you automatically get the episodes on your computer when they come out. If you’re unsure about the whole RSS/Subscribing thing take a look at our Help page.

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Feb 04 2014

Butser Ancient Farm – Researching Prehistoric and Celtic Agriculture and Building techniques

Butser Ancient Farm in Hampshire

Butser Ancient Farm in Hampshire

Pic: Butser

If you fancy a visit to a working Iron Age Farm, then you cannot do better than a visit to Butser Ancient Farm. Situated just north of Portsmouth on the South Coast of the UK, Butser boasts a unique experimental archaeological site and a fascinating day out. Nestled into the rolling South Downs National Park, this ancient farm displays ongoing constructions of Iron Age buildings based on real sites, crops from prehistory and rare breeds of animals.

The Butser Ancient Farm

Butser Ancient Farm is not just a great Hampshire day out – they are also one of the most interesting archaeological sites in the UK, a real working farm that they use as an open-air research laboratory to explore the ancient world. The farm’s directors are Maureen Page and Simon Jay. They run the business as Butser Education Community Interest Company, a not-for-profit company. Their education staff are experienced, full of fascinating information and passionate about what they do.
Re-enactment at Butser Ancient Farm

Re-enactment at Butser Ancient Farm

Pic: Butser

Leading groups in hands-on activities they encourage children and teachers alike to get the most from their day with them.

Education at Butser

Ideally set up for school visits from Keystages 1-4 they provide complete Risk Assessments for activities involving Archaeology, Chalk carving, Clunching, Jewellery, Mosaics, Pottery, Spinning, the Villa tour and Wattling. It is a perfect venue for outdoor learning and a great way to bring history alive – 15,000 pupils visit Butser Ancient Farm every year, so why not bring your class too? Inspire their curiosity to find out more about the past! They are embracing the new curriculum and activities are now available for Stone Age, Bronze Age, Anglo Saxons and Vikings as well as the Celts and Romans.

Kids loving the adventure!

Kids loving the adventure!

Pic: Butser

Not only the Kids, but Teachers love:

  • the quality of our enthusiastic team, who will lead you through an adventurous day transporting your pupils back to ancient times.
  • our carefully planned activities that tie in with different aspects of Key Stages 1, 2, 3 and 4 – from history and art to DT and maths.
  • our atmospheric Great Roundhouse and impressive Roman villa.

 

What are you studying? Celts, Romans, Invaders and Settlers, Anglo-Saxons and Vikings, Houses and Homes, Discovery for Reception Age, Medicine through Time, Sustainable Technologies or Archaeology? Our stunning site and inspiring staff will bring the past to life. Your class can sit beside a large open fire in a roundhouse that is actually based on real archaeology. They can touch, smell and see what life would have been like.

Adult Education and Workshops at Butser

Butser Ancient Farm workshops take you right back to life in Britain during the Iron Age and Roman times.

These inspiring sessions provide hands-on experience in ancient crafts and archaeological techniques in an atmospheric setting. All necessary tools are provided and workshop prices include materials. The following workshops are available during the year: Hedgelaying, wood frame building, coracle making, felt making, prehistoric metallurgy, home herbal apothecary, Roman cooking, archaeology, Bronze Age axe/gold sun disk/sword making, flint knapping, bushcraft skills, cooking over the Roundhouse fire, silver bracelet making, cave painting.
Guided Coracle activities

Guided Coracle activities

Pic: Butser on Facebook

Special Events and the Friends of Butser

Samhain at Butser

Samhain at Butser

Pic: Butser on Facebook

Beltain is their hugely popular festival to mark the start of summer, with a 30ft-high Wicker Man burned as the sun sets. Craft displays, hot food, live bands and a stunning setting make it a night to remember. Join them for their ancient celebrations of spring and our Fairy Festival to mark the ancient Quarter Day of ‘Mid-Summer.’ Samhain celebrates the Celtic New Year in October, with a folk band, story telling, fire sculpture and ghost tours. See the Great Roundhouse decorated at the end of December ready for the Tales of Winter Magic round a roaring fire.

Another highlight is Open Night at the Museum, an opportunity to visit the farm in the evening. They also have a Dig It Archeology Day for children.

This is an astounding site to visit and you can find out more about the facilities, prices and opening times on their main website, as well as more about joining the Friends of Butser – a charity (reg.no. 1039961) that helps keep the Butser Ancient Farm Project running. Membership is open to all those who wish to support Butser Ancient Farm, to promote interest in all aspects of its work, or who simply want to be part of a unique project. You can also find more details on Facebook and on YouTube.

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You can also now download a Celtic Myth Podshow App from the iTunes store. This is the most convenient and reliable way to access the Celtic Myth Podshow on your iPhone or iPod Touch. You’re always connected to the latest episode, and our App users have access to exclusive bonus content, just touch and play! To find out more visit the iTunes Store or our Description Page.

 

iphone

You can now also find an Android version of the App which works identically to the iPhone version. You can find it on Handster at http://www.handster.com/celtic_myth.html or by using the QR code opposite. It’s also found on the Opera Marketplace in the US.

You can now also find the Windows 8 Phone App in the Windows 8 Phone Store.

Windows 8 Phone App

If you come to the site and listen or listen from one of our players – have you considered subscribing? It’s easy and you automatically get the episodes on your computer when they come out. If you’re unsure about the whole RSS/Subscribing thing take a look at our Help page.

No responses yet

Jan 01 2014

Winter Music Special for 2013 now available for download!

Pic: Celtic Myth Podshow For our holiday treat this year we have an astounding 11 wonderful pieces of music! We might even manage to slide a quick poem into the show, you never know! From the time of Samhuin to the Winter Solstice, the time of deepest dark, winter just seems to go on and on. We hope to bring you some warmth and good cheer in this show, and for those who are moving to the height of Summer in the Southern Hemisphere, let’s bring on the Party Season! You will be able to hear some old favourites like Damh the Bard and Spiral Dance as well as two artists who are new to the show! Keep your ears peeled for the raw Breton power of Dom DufF and the astounding skill of the famed Harp Twins, Camille and Kennerly. We’re also pleased to bring you a wonderful poem entitled the Winter Queen!

How to Listen

The Episode is available for subscribers on the feed, or you can download it or listen to it from our Episodes page. You’ll also be able to listen on Stitcher! You can find the Shownotes for this episode in the Shownotes section.

If you come to the site and listen or listen from one of our players – have you considered subscribing? It’s easy and you automatically get the episodes on your computer when they come out. If you’re unsure about the whole RSS/Subscribing thing take a look at our Help page.

We hope you enjoy it and wish you many blessings :)

Gary & Ruthie x x x

———————————

You can also now download a Celtic Myth Podshow App from the iTunes store. This is the most convenient and reliable way to access the Celtic Myth Podshow on your iPhone or iPod Touch. You’re always connected to the latest episode, and our App users have access to exclusive bonus content, just touch and play! To find out more visit the iTunes Store or our Description Page.

 

iphone

You can now also find an Android version of the App which works identically to the iPhone version. You can find it on Handster at http://www.handster.com/celtic_myth.html or by using the QR code opposite. It’s also found on the Opera Marketplace in the US.

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Dec 27 2013

Mad Vikings wait until the Solstice to burn the Gävle Goat!

The Christmas Goat in Gävle from Pixel Productions on Vimeo.

Every year, the town of Gavle, Sweden, erects a giant goat called the Gävlebocken. And most years that goat burns to the ground. In fact, in the 47 years that the town has erected Gävlebocken, it’s been set on fire 26 times reports the Smithsonian Mag.

The Origins of the Yule Goat

The Yule goat is a Scandinavian and Northern European Yule and Christmas symbol and tradition. Its origin may be Germanic pagan, and the figure has existed in many variants during Scandinavian history. Modern representations of the Yule goat are typically made of straw. The custom of wassailing is sometimes called “going Yule goat” in Scandinavia.

Folk Depiction of Father Christmas riding a goat

Folk Depiction of Father Christmas riding a goat

Pic: Wiki

The Yule goat’s origins might go as far back as pre-Christian days. A popular theory is that the celebration of the goat is connected to worship of the Norse god Thor, who rode the sky in a chariot drawn by two goats, Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjóstr. The last sheaf of grain bundled in the harvest was credited with magical properties as the spirit of the harvest and saved for the Yule celebrations, called among other things “Julbocken” (the Yule goat). A man-sized goat figure is known from 11th-century remembrances of Childermas, where it was led by a man dressed as Saint Nicholas, symbolizing his control over the Devil. The function of the Yule goat has differed throughout the ages. In a Scandinavian tradition similar to wassailing, held at either Christmas or Epiphany, young men in costumes would walk between houses singing songs, enacting plays and performing pranks. This tradition is known from the 17th century and continued in places into the early 20th century. The group of Christmas characters would often include the Yule goat, a rowdy and sometimes scary creature demanding gifts. [wiki]

But this year, local officials are confident that they can keep the goat alive. According to The Local, the new goat is made from sturdier stuff and soaked it in anti-flammable liquid. The last two years, they did this the goat survived, but even with the precautions officials aren’t going to hold their breath this year:

“You never know, we’ve made it from material that’s a little stronger this year, so it should be much harder to burn down,” a spokesperson at the Gävle tourist office told The Local.

“But we’re aware that the goat is only famous because it gets burned. It would be great if it didn’t actually burn down this year, because that would be the most unexpected result. Then we might really get a lot of attention.”

Last year, the goat only made it to December 12th before going up in flames. And according to Allison Meier at Atlas Obscura, it’s not just fire that people throw at the poor goat, “in the past it’s been hit by cars, attacked by a Gingerbread Man, and almost stolen with a helicopter.” Meier also explains why this town erects a 40 foot tall goat in the first place:
Burned Goat of 2006

Burned Goat of 2006

Pic: Wiki

The Gävle Goat is a towering version of the Yule Goat that is a popular Christmas tradition in Scandinavia. It has pagan origins and was once depicted as the companion bringer of holiday gifts with Saint Nicholas before Santa ruined the fun. While the tradition of waiting for the goat to burn has become as popular as the Gävle Goat itself, the town has far from embraced this unruly rite of winter. Instead, security continues to be added and it is monitored with a live web cam (which, alas, tends to just capture the quick flame destruction of the heap of kindling).

To keep up with the goats status, you can follow it on Twitter. Should it go down in flames, we’re hoping there are some exceptional live Tweets.

Sadly all we saw on the 21st December was a very sad farewell tweet from the stricken Goat…

I’m so sad my friends that I have to leave you now! Thank you for this year! Take care and have a Merry Christmas and a happy new year!

The History of the Goat

In 1966, an advertising consultant, Stig Gavlén, came up with the idea of making a giant version of the traditional Swedish Yule Goat and placing it in the square. The design of the first goat was assigned to the then chief of the Gävle fire department, Gavlén’s brother Jörgen Gavlén. The construction of the goat was carried out by the fire department, and they erected the goat each year from 1966 to 1970 and from 1986 to 2002.

The first goat was financed by Harry Ström. On 1 December 1966, a 13-metre (43 ft) tall, 7-metre (23 ft) long, 3-tonne goat was erected in the square. On New Year’s Eve, the goat was burnt down.

A group of businessmen known as the Southern Merchants (Söders Köpmän) financed the building of the goat in subsequent years, many of which were also subject to arson attacks. In 1971, the Southern Merchants stopped building the goats. The Natural Science Club of the School of Vasa began building the structure. Their goat was around 2 metres (6.6 ft). Due to the positive reaction their Yule Goat received that year, they built another one the following year and from then on. The Natural Science Club’s Yule Goat were also burnt and vandalised, one year it was run over by a car.

Proud Gavle Goat  of 2013

Proud Gavle Goat of 2013

Pic: Smithsonian

The Gävle Goat is erected every year on the first day of Advent, which according to Western Christian tradition is in late November or early December, depending on the calendar year. Because the fire station is close to the location of the goat, most of the time the fire can be extinguished before the wooden skeleton is severely damaged. If the goat is burned down before Lucia (feast day of Saint Lucy, 13 December), the goat has been rebuilt. The skeleton is then treated and repaired, and the goat reconstructed over it, using straw which the Goat Committee has pre-ordered.

From 1988 onward, English bookmakers took bets on the goat’s survival. In 1996 the Southern Merchants introduced camera survelance to monitor the goat 24 hours a day. On 27 November 2004 the Gävle Goat’s homepage was hacked into and one of the two official webcams changed to display “Brinn Bockjävel” (translation: Burn, fucking goat) in the left corner of its live feed. One year, while security guards were posted around the goat in order to prevent further vandalism, the temperature dropped far below zero. As the guards ducked into a nearby restaurant to escape the cold, the vandals struck.

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You can also now download a Celtic Myth Podshow App from the iTunes store. This is the most convenient and reliable way to access the Celtic Myth Podshow on your iPhone or iPod Touch. You’re always connected to the latest episode, and our App users have access to exclusive bonus content, just touch and play! To find out more visit the iTunes Store or our Description Page.

 

iphone

You can now also find an Android version of the App which works identically to the iPhone version. You can find it on Handster at http://www.handster.com/celtic_myth.html or by using the QR code opposite. It’s also found on the Opera Marketplace in the US.

You can now also find the Windows 8 Phone App in the Windows 8 Phone Store.

Windows 8 Phone App

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Oct 09 2013

The Enduring Celtic Realm

Celebrating Beltane in Edinburgh

Celebrating Beltane in Edinburgh

Pic: Nat. Geo.

National Geographic claimed that Outsider status has helped Celtic languages and culture endure. They write: Finding a Celt in 21st-century Europe isn’t that difficult, though you may need a few ferry tickets, a good pair of boots, and a sharp set of ears before your search is done. Go as far west as you can, right up to the cliffs and coves of the Atlantic—it doesn’t matter if it’s France or England or Ireland or the outer islands of Scotland—and turn around.

Odds are you’ll see rocks, plenty of them, piled up in fences, shaped into houses, or lying like bare knuckles in scruffy fields. Probably it’s raining. Your search is getting warm. To get warmer still, find a place like the Cross Inn on the windy, moor-covered Isle of Lewis in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides. If you’re lucky, you might hear a bagpipe or fiddle playing, and if you’re luckier still, you might tune in to an unfamiliar sound: Celts talking.

The conversation might go:

Hullo, Norman, how’s your mother?

Great, she’s visiting her grandchildren and planting flowers in the garden.

Except the speech is rhythmic and guttural, a back-of-the-throat performance, nothing like the rounded slip and slide of English. If there were sound balloons above their heads, they’d look like this:

Hallo, a Thormoid. Ciamar a tha do mhàthair?

Gu dàigheil. Tha i a’ coimhead air a h-ogh-aichean agus a’ cur flàraichean anns a’ ghàrradh.

The Sunday mates in the Cross Inn are speaking Scottish Gaelic. To them it’s no big deal; it’s the first language they learned at home. But to me, an American long intoxicated by Irish roots and curious whether an even wider and deeper kinship might exist, that of a Celtic identity, I felt as if I had stumbled upon a secret society. There was something thrilling, even subversive, about hearing an ancient Celtic language in the land of Shakespeare, where neither the Queen nor the Prime Minister would have the foggiest clue what these locals on Lewis were talking about.

When the men caught me listening, they switched to English. “It’s rude, that’s what we were taught, to speak our language in front of strangers,” said Norman Campbell, a novelist and poet who publishes in Scottish Gaelic. I bought a round, and the men opened up, telling me how in their parents’ time teachers would take a belt to students overheard speaking the native tongue. Now it’s different, they said, and the government is promoting the language.

Ah, the clues are adding up for identifying a Celt: the ancient language, an easily retrieved sense of historical grievance, a resort to song, and this bittersweet sentimentality. Less clear is how a fringe culture like the Celts managed to survive, even flourish, in a rapidly assimilating world. A brief detour into history begins to tell the tale.

A Little Bit of Celtic History

Most of us are unaware that Celts once dominated the breadth of Europe from the Black Sea to the Atlantic—and for a long time. An early form of Welsh was spoken in Britain 1,500 years before Old English took root. The Celtic languages still spoken in Europe hark back to the Late Bronze Age (1200-800 b.c.) and a civilization of aristocratic warrior tribes. The word “Celtic” comes from the Greek Keltoi, first appearing in the sixth century b.c. to describe “barbarians” living inland from the Mediterranean Sea. Little suggests these people united or called themselves Celts. Yet there is no denying that these far-flung peoples spoke closely related languages and shared beliefs, styles of art and weaponry, and tribal societies. Trade, principally by water, connected them. Calling them Celts makes sense, if only to separate them from what they weren’t: Roman or Greek.

By the end of the Middle Ages, Celtic culture was headed toward extinction, its remnants pushed to the very western edge of Europe. A Breton man said:

No one else wanted to live where the Celts did. Those places were poor and remote, and no one spoke their languages.

Being ostracized to no-man’s-land did not spare the Celts from further depredations. The English and French banned or restricted their languages, their instruments and music, their names, their right to own property, and in the case of the kilt-wearing Scottish Highland clans, even their clothing. It’s a bit miraculous Celtic civilization survived in any form. By clinging to the fringes, geographically and culturally, Celts refused to vanish.

Now, in one of those delectable backward flips of history, Celts and all things Celtic suddenly seem omnipresent. “Europe’s beautiful losers,” as one British writer called them, are commanding attention as one of the new century’s seductive identities: free-spirited, rebellious, poetic, nature-worshipping, magical, self-sufficient.

A similar sleight of hand is happening through- out the Celtic realm, from Scotland to Galicia in northern Spain, where anything goes and the definition of a Celt is as elusive and shifting as the coastal weather. There are “blood Celts,” the several million people who were raised and still live in the surviving Celtic language territories. Then there is the growing tribe of “Celts of the spirit,” who feel touched by the history, myths, and artistic expressions of beautiful losers. J. R. R. Tolkien observed:

Celtic of any sort, is a magic bag, into which anything may be put, and out of which almost anything may come.

The Gaelic Survival

Learning Gaelic does have economic benefits. In a cafeteria in Stornoway, the only town on the island, I met a dozen college-age islanders who through Comunn na Gàidhlig, a government-funded agency promoting Gaelic, worked at summer jobs using their bilingual skills. They were interning at places like the BBC radio station, which broadcasts 65 hours of Gaelic programming a week, and the local arts council. Most hoped to make a career out of teaching Gaelic, and all vowed to raise Gaelic-speaking children. “But amongst ourselves, we mostly speak English,” confessed one young woman, Jayne Macleod. “Anymore, Gaelic is the language of schools and old people.”

Voyagers long knew the Celtic lands by their native names: Scotland was Alba; the Isle of Man, Ellan Vannin; Ireland, Éireann; Cornwall, Kernow; and Wales, Cymru. “kum-ree, kum-ree,” I softly chanted aboard the Jonathan Swift, a ferry across the Irish Sea to the island of Anglesey in northern Wales.

As a nod toward their native languages, most modern Celtic lands put up bilingual town names. And as a nod toward independence, Celtic vandals just as regularly scratch out the English and French names, creating the sight of tourists standing befuddled beside their cars in places like northwestern Ireland and the western tip of Cornwall, a useless English-language map hanging from their hands. Memorizing a few pronunciation rules is almost mandatory in Wales. Try asking for directions to Machynlleth and Llanfairfechan.

Every Day is a Holy Day

People joke that there aren’t enough seats in heaven for all the Celtic saints. Wherever you are in Celtic lands, every day is a holy day. For the first week or so of September alone, I counted feast days for saints named Macanisius, Ultan, Rhuddlad, Disibod, Kieran, and Finian. The saints’ names date to the time between the fifth and eighth centuries when Celtic Christian missionaries, most from Ireland, scattered along the Atlantic coast and beyond to establish monastic centers. The monks often located their sanctuaries at pre-Christian ceremonial sites, acknowledging their sacred significance.

This entwining of pagan and early Christian traditions today exerts a magnetic pull at the religious sites, luring pilgrims, tourists, spiri-tual groupies, and mystic seekers. Something about Cornwall, its woolly wet weather, its abundance of prehistoric sites, and its ties to the legend of King Arthur (local Arthurians locate his castle at Tintagel), draws the more mystical and pagan of the pilgrims.

One day while looking around the Iron Age village site of Carn Euny, I met Cheryl Straffon, a Cornish goddess worshipper. I first noticed her at the head of a group of American women coming out of an underground chamber. The early Celts may have used such subterranean rooms, called fogous in Cornwall, as ritual sites. “That room has great acoustics,” I overheard Straffon saying. “Chanting sounds good in there.”

To commune with that past, Straffon observes the pre-Christian Celtic calendar, conducting rituals on the season-turning feast days of Imbolc (February 1, to mark the lactation of ewes), Beltane (May 1, when flocks and herds were moved to summer pastures), Lughnasa (August 1, for the first harvest), and Samhain (October 31-November 1, when the world of the dead was believed to briefly open, inspiring the modern Halloween).

On each of these days Straffon and her fellow celebrants invite a Celtic goddess into their midst. Brigid, an Irish deity associated with healing, later absorbed by the church as a saint, is invoked on Imbolc when Straffon visits holy wells like Madron. We tramped one day through woods to the well, a pool of dark water seeping out of the ground. A fungus called stinkhorn gave off a piercing sour smell, and on the surrounding moss-furred trees, shreds of cloth and paper hung like ornaments off every branch. These were offerings, or “clouties,” representing body parts that petitioners, Christians as well as pagans, wished to have healed.

When conducting a ritual here, Straffon said she and her friends decorate the well with candles and call in Brigid using Gaelic chants, just the way she imagines people did for centuries. She said:

This gives us a sense of connecting with our ancestors who lived here. It allows us to relate to the land and give it thanks.

Pagans don’t delight everyone in Cornwall. Some members of a local church have stripped the clouties at well sites, Straffon said, and a fundamentalist Christian farmer knocked down a standing stone on his land. But as we sloshed through mud back to the road and rain began to fall, Straffon remarked that, judging by the number of visitors from afar seeking out the local sacred sites, Celts must be everywhere.

I believe if you feel Celtic, you become Celtic.

In many ways the so-called Celtic spirituality has become as popular and marketable as Celtic music. People are embracing it for its aura of seeking the divine in nature and for treating women as the spiritual equals of men.

You can read the full, amazing story on the National Geographic website.

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You can also now download a Celtic Myth Podshow App from the iTunes store. This is the most convenient and reliable way to access the Celtic Myth Podshow on your iPhone or iPod Touch. You’re always connected to the latest episode, and our App users have access to exclusive bonus content, just touch and play! To find out more visit the iTunes Store or our Description Page.

 

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You can now also find an Android version of the App which works identically to the iPhone version. You can find it on Handster at http://www.handster.com/celtic_myth.html or by using the QR code opposite. It’s also found on the Opera Marketplace in the US.

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Windows 8 Phone App

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Sep 28 2013

The 2013 Magical Faerie Festival Special is now available for download

Magical Faerie Festival ShowShow

Magical Faerie Festival Show

Pic: Magical Times

This is the first Special Report that we have ever made after going to a Faerie Festival. We camped for three days with some lovely people, saw some incredible bands and browsed amongst some really great market stalls. In this show, we are going to try and bring you a taste of that Festival with a few little interviews with some of the guests we met, some of the stall-holders but mostly with an amazing 12 pieces of music!

Amazing and incredibly talented artists such as: Flutatious, Willows Drum, Beck Sian, Daemonia Nymphe, Kim Thompsett, Inta Africa, Jaime Black, Jonathan Kershaw, Serpentyne, Ash Mandrake, Spriggan Mist and Roxircle! This is going to be a monster show – but we hope you have as much fun listening to it as we had at the festival and get a feel for how much fun these Faerie Festivals are!

How to Listen

The Episode is available for subscribers on the feed, or you can download it or listen to it from our Episodes page. You can find the Shownotes for this episode in the Shownotes section.

If you come to the site and listen or listen from one of our players – have you considered subscribing? It’s easy and you automatically get the episodes on your computer when they come out. If you’re unsure about the whole RSS/Subscribing thing take a look at our Help page.

We hope you enjoy it and wish you many Faerie blessings :)

Gary & Ruthie x x x

———————————

You can also now download a Celtic Myth Podshow App from the iTunes store. This is the most convenient and reliable way to access the Celtic Myth Podshow on your iPhone or iPod Touch. You’re always connected to the latest episode, and our App users have access to exclusive bonus content, just touch and play! To find out more visit the iTunes Store or our Description Page.

 

iphone

You can now also find an Android version of the App which works identically to the iPhone version. You can find it on Handster at http://www.handster.com/celtic_myth.html or by using the QR code opposite. It’s also found on the Opera Marketplace in the US.

You can now also find the Windows 8 Phone App in the Windows 8 Phone Store.

Windows 8 Phone App

If you come to the site and listen or listen from one of our players – have you considered subscribing? It’s easy and you automatically get the episodes on your computer when they come out. If you’re unsure about the whole RSS/Subscribing thing take a look at our Help page.

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Jul 28 2013

How the Easter Egg Came to Be

abrighid_grp.jpg The modern belief that eggs are delivered by a rabbit, comes from the legend of the Goddess Eostre.  Eostre was walking one fine Spring day and came upon a beautiful little bird. The poor bird’s wing was badly injured and Eostre, feeling great compassion for the little creature, wanted to heal it. But the little bird’ wing was so badly damaged that Eostre knew it would never be able to fly again even after She healed it. So, Eostre decided to help the bird by healing it in a way that would give it mobility and a little something more? She turned it into a rabbit!

During the transformation, the rabbit retained the ability to lay eggs. The rabbit was so grateful to Eostre for saving its life that it laid a sacred egg in Her honor, joyously decorated it and then humbly presented it to the Goddess. She was so pleased and so touched by the rabbit’s thoughtful gift that She wished all humankind to share in her joy. In honoring her wishes, the rabbit went all over the world distributing these beautifully decorated little gifts of life and continues to do so even today.

Originally posted 2008-03-23 10:59:22. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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