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There are many ancient beliefs surrounding Irish weddings. For example - Wednesday was believed to be the luckiest day to get married on while Saturday was seen as unlucky; Green was an unlucky colour to wear at a wedding (the ancient Irish believed that the faeries would 'get' you if you wore green and steal you away to the underworld!); and, if the mother-in-law broke a piece of cake over the bride's head as she entered the marriage home it was said that the 2 women would remain friends for life!
These are just some of the many Irish superstitions that surround getting married!
Trick-or-treating, today, very much an All-American tradition, was derived from the English (not Irish)tradition of ‘souling' where folk went round houses on All Souls Day (2nd November) asking for soul cakes. The more cakes they got the more prayers they'd promise to say on behalf of the givers' dead relatives.
One variation of this legend tells that St. Patrick went to the top of Croaghpatrick Mountain, where he fasted for forty days and forty nights. When he finished his fast, he rang a bell and all the snakes of Ireland came to him. He then banished them to the other side of the Atlantic. Since then, there have been no snakes in Ireland.
As with all folktales there are different versions. Another version says that he banished the snakes with his walking stick!
"Chronicle of Celtic Folk Customs" by Brian Day. The back cover reads as follows:
"Chronicle of Celtic Folk Customs contains over 450 customs of the Irish, Manx, Scottish, Welsh, Cornish and Breton Celts. This easy follow, day-to-day guide to past and current folk events features the celebrations, ceremonies, feasts, dances, games, crafts and superstitions which, along with many other aspects of folklore, constitute Celtic folk culture today.
Each custom is annotated with dates, times and directions, together with a description of events. The history, beliefs and attitudes associated with each custom are revealed, portraying the rich cultural diversity of the individual Celtic nations.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|