Celtic Myth Podshow News

Bringing the Tales and Stories of the Ancient Celts to your Fireside

Tag: Ireland (Page 1 of 10)

The Life and Loves of a Bagpipe player

The Australian Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader may occupy opposite ends of the political spectrum but they were united before the Celtic skirl of Bruce Grice’s pipes in Brisbane in 2010, reported the Brisbane Courier.

On the eve of St Patrick’s Day, the pair were guest speakers at the Queensland Irish Club’s annual dinner, where pipe major Grice has been piping prime ministers, premiers, ambassadors and heads of state for more than decade.

He’s also a pig. An Irish pig, or at least a member of Murphy’s Pigs, he says as he sits in the sepulchral quiet of the main function room of the Irish Club, the chairs stacked and mid-morning sun playing across the leadlight windows. It will be a different scene on Tuesday, the room crowded with the good and the great for one of the country’s pre-eminent St Patrick’s Day dinners, the conversation and claret flowing in equal quantities.

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Survey proves 1/3rd of Irish people believe Leprechauns exist

One third of Irish people believe that leprechauns exist, according to a survey conducted by Cooley Distillery, in 2011 reports the Irish Central. Over half of respondents said they believe that they existed in Ireland in the past. Leprechaun’s are small, smart and devious little characters usually dressed from head to toe in green and with ginger hair and a ginger beard. They date back to Irish mythology and were described by many as “wee folk”.  Normally great musicians, they can play a variety of instruments including the tin whistle, the fiddle and the harp.

The online survey was conducted ahead of the second annual National Leprechaun Hunt, in County Louth in aid of Our Ladys Children’s Hospital Crumlin and local charities.

The research concluded that due to the current downturn, and the scarcity of gold, many leprechauns were faced to emigrate.

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A Review of Ard Rí – a Celtic Card Game

This is a review of Ard Rí – A Card Game of the Early Celts. I’m playing my first game of Ard Rí (which means High King), and here my warriors stand and my cattle graze upon the turf. My enemies are ranged against me across the table…

I gather my Celtic Warriors into my Company and watch over my cattle carefully. So proud am I in this noble company! My herd swells on the greensward and bright Lugh joins the beautiful Étaín and the wise Manannán mac Lír, master of wiles and of glamour, in my Roundhouse. My scouts have reported to me that the size of my rival’s herd is growing, but are my warriors enough to strike at him and steal some away with impunity or will he decimate the pride of my warband? I know that Balor, the Mighty-Striker stands with them!

As the Feast of Samhain comes upon us, it is time to take from our herds and feed our warriors or they may join the wandering band of warriors known as the Fianna or, worse still, be lost to this world and enter the Underworld, the realm of the Síde. This year, I bide my time and hunt in the wilderness for more cattle and bring them into my fold. It is at this time however that my rival chooses to try and raid my own herd. Now I must send my warriors into battle. But who do I send against his mighty warriors? Maybe now is the time  of our proving? So passes another year and if I am a King rich in cattle after several such hard fought years, I may be able to force my rival into accepting me as his Liege, thus becoming High King over the whole Land!

That is indeed how I felt when we played the Basic game of Ard Ri for the first time. The atmosphere of the ancient Celtic warrior culture is superbly captured by the game, and the mythology of the Gods seeps into your bones as you send forth mighty Nuada to do battle against the incoming forces, or defeat a raid with the Morrigan. So what does this game involve?

A Quick Summary of Ard Rí – the Celtic Card Game

One or two decks of truly beautiful cards (and later three, with our support for the Kickstarter campaign) are used to play a game for 2-5 players that superbly represents the ancient Irish culture of cattle-raiding.

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Traditional Irish Music and Instruments

Traditional Irish Music and Instruments

Traditional Irish Music and InstrumentsPaul Murphy from Murphy of Ireland has given us a superb infographic about the development of Irish Music from the earliest times up until today’s modern mainstream Celtic music. This fantastic information can either be found as a single graphic for printing onto poster-sized classroom paper or section by section in the article below.

The Celts 500 BC to the Ruling Chieftains 10th to 17th Centuries

Traditional Irish music is an oral tradition whose origins can be traced back to almost 2,000 years ago when the Celts last arrived in Ireland. The Celts were established in Eastern Europe since 500 BC and were heavily influenced by the music of the East. It is speculated that the Irish Harp originated in Egypt.

The Celts 500 BC to the Ruling Chieftains 10th to 17th Centuries
During the later period, the harp was the dominant Irish instrument. All harpists were professional musicians employed by the ruling Chieftains under a patronage system to create and perform music for them.

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Irish Colony in North America Nearly 500 Years Ago

A long overlooked report made to the King of Spain in 1521 provides an eyewitness account of an Irish province on the coast of South Carolina. The description of its culture seemed so absurd to scholars, not familiar with Irish history that it was ignored during the following five centuries . . . until now, reported the examiner in 2011.

First Spanish attempt to colonize North America

The year 1521 AD was one of the most important in the history of Spain. In 1519 Hernán Cortés had led a band of 550 conquistadors and sailors into the heart of the Aztec Empire, in violation of orders from the Governor of Cuba, Diego Veláquez, In January 1521 he began a siege of the three Aztec capital cities of Texcoco, Tlatalolco and Tenochtitlan. The Aztecs had been greatly weakened by European plagues. Cut off from food supplies and potable water for weeks, Tenochtitlan, one of the largest cities in the world, fell. The incalculable amount of gold and silver in Mexico soon made Spain a super-power.

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Two Iron Age Trumpets played for the first time in 2,000 years!

John Kenny and Simon O’Dwyer play two reproduction Loughnashade trumpets for the first time in over 2,000 years at the Organological Congress in Purtugal 2013.

The Loughnashade Iron Age Trumpets are similar to the Celtic Carnyx

The Celtic carnyx was also made of bronze, and was used as an instrument of war during the Iron Age (c. 300 BCE – 200 CE). It consisted of a cylindrical tube about 2 metres long; the bell was elaborately carved to resemble a wild boar’s head, with a movable tongue and jaw; the mouthpiece was curved.

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The Island of Hy Brasil

Ireland lay on the edge of the world until Columbus proved otherwise in 1492. The mysterious Atlantic was explored by sailors such as Saint. Brendan (†577) and one of islands he came across on his voyages was Hy Brasil, the Irish Atlantis, which he referred to as The Promised Land.).

The Island of Hy Brasil by Rónán Gearóid Ó Domhnaill

It got its name from the Irish Uí, meaning descendant of Bresal, meaning beauty. Bresal was of the Fir Bolg and it was after one of his daughters, Galvia, that Galway got its name. It was suggested that the country of Brazil was named after the island, but it actually got its name after the red coloured Brazil wood. Other names for the island included Tir fo-Thuin (Land Under the Wave), Mag Mell (Land of Truth), Hy na-Beatha(Isle of Life), and Tir na-m-Buadha (Land of Virtue).

There is a description of the island the 9th century biography of Saint Brendan Navigatio Sancti Brendani which was a medieval bestseller. The island was described as being shrouded in mist, visible for one day only every seven years, circular in shape with a river running across its diameter. Though visible it could not always be reached.

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New film, Curse of the Banshee, screened in Galway

Galway’s Menlo Park Hotel will host the first screening of the joint Irish & UK production of Curse of the Banshee before it heads to the US. The film was seen on Halloween Night (31st October) from 8:30pm with special guests that include stars from RTE’s Love/Hate and former world boxing champion Steve “Celtic Warrior” Collins.

Curse of the Banshee starts out in 1963 when a group of Irish witch hunters try track down the local banshee after it was brought back thru the Ouija board that was used by one the five families can resurrect her.

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Ancient Irish King sacrificed to the Land for his people

Eamonn Kelly, Keeper of Irish Antiquities at the National Museum of Ireland, who has worked on all the major bog body finds, theorizes that the oldest Bog Body – Cashel Man, about 4,000 years old – met his end in a form of sacrifice reports Irish Central.

Early Bronze Age death means Cashel Man is the oldest Bog Body

Found in a bog in County Laois in 2011, the Cashel Man is the oldest found bog body. From the early Bronze Age, about 4,000 years ago, he is believed to be the oldest bog body anywhere in the world. He was found between territories and within sight of a hill where he may have been crowned king.

Cashel Man suffered violent injuries to his back and a sword or axe wound on his arm, but this level of violence is not unusual for bog bodies. Keeper of Irish Antiquities, Eamonn Kelly, who has worked on all the major bog body finds, theorizes that the bog bodies died violent deaths as a form of sacrifice. He explained to the BBC:

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The Tuatha de Danann, the people of the Goddess Danu

The Tuatha de Danann, the people of the Goddess Danu, were one of the great ancient tribes of Ireland. The important manuscript ‘The Annals of the Four Masters’, records that they ruled Ireland from 1897 B.C. to 1700 B.C.

The arrival of the tribe in Ireland is the stuff of legend. They landed at the Connaught coastline and emerged from a great mist. It is speculated that they burned their boats to ensure that they settled down in their new land. The rulers of Ireland at the time were the Fir Bolg, led by Eochid son of Erc, who was, needless to say, unhappy about the new arrivals.

The Tuatha de Danann won the inevitable battle with the Fir Bolg but, out of respect for the manner in which they had fought, they allowed the Fir Bolg to remain in Connaught while the victors ruled the rest of Ireland.

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