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Solstice is from the Latin and is made up from two words given roughly as: sol = sun and stice = stopped. Celtic Druí do not believe that the Sun stops so we use the old Irish word “Tairisem” which means standing still. In summer this Sun Standing happens in the month of June around the 20th, 21st or 22nd when we honour Etain, the White Mare Goddess. This is the highest point of the solar year when the Sun reaches it maximum height in the Sky. The Sun is at its highest at noon and shadows are at their shortest. There are almost 20 hours of daylight and only four hours of darkness if you are in Ireland at this time.

This is not a specifically Gaelic holiday and many Pagan cultures celebrate this time with many festivals known by a range of names – Denmark, Sankt Hans Aften. Wiccan sabbat Litha. Slavonia, St. John’s Night. Alban Heruin. Gaul (old France), Feast of Epona, (white mare goddess). Roman Empire, Vestalia. Catholic countries, feast of St. John the Baptist – this was an attempt to shift the natives away for the true date by setting the 24th of June as bone fire night.

Source: Ireland’s Druidschool
http://www.druidschool.com/site/1030100/page/846679

It’s a Great Day for the Irish, an anthem of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in New York. Judy Garland sings on The Bob Hope Show, 1940.

Oh, I woke me up this morning and I heard a joyful song
From the throats of happy Irishmen, a hundred thousand strong
Sure it was the Hibernian Brigade
Lining up for to start the big parade
So I fetched me Sunday bonnet and the flag I love so well
And I bought meself a shamrock just to wear in me lapel
Don’t you know that today’s March seventeen?
It’s the day for the wearing of the green………..

It’s a great day for the Irish, it’s a great day for fair
The side-walks of New York are thick with Blarney
For shure you’d think New York was Old Killarney

Begosh and begorragh, every Irish son and daughter
Every good old Irish name and their relation
They come from Tipperary, Donegal and County Kerry,

They are all here to join the celebration……….
There’s Connolly and Donnelly, Ryan, O’Brien,
McLoughlin and Lynch, Pat Flannigan, McFadden, McPhearson and Finch
Hogan and Logan, Fitzpatrick, O’Bannigan, Danny O’Doole and Seamus O’Tool!

 

March 17th. is the National Day of Ireland, the St. Patrick’s Day.

Born in Scotland in 387 a.D., Patrick was captured as a slave and taken to Ireland, still a pagan and celtic nation. He worked as a sheepherd, before he could escape and return back to Scotland. There Patrick joined the Catholic Church, and after his nomination as a bishop, came back to Ireland for christian work. So Saint Patrick would represent the overcome of Catholic Church on celtic paganism.

From XVII Century, March 17th entered into the christian liturgy calendar, and became an irish national date. The green and the 3-leaf shamrock, representing the Holy Trinity, became their symbols.

Today, St. Patrick’s Day is a secular party, and it’s celebrated in several places of the world where we can find irish communities, like USA, Canada and even Argentina.