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Birds, bonfires and Beltane

Happy Beltane best beloveds! It's that time again. Traditionally this is the start of summer but in practice I think Spring still has some time to go - in Scotland at least. We've had bluebells, primroses, daffodils and stuff for weeks but the trees are only just starting to bud. I am hearing a lot of birdsong… Continue reading Birds, bonfires and Beltane

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Là nam Foileagan – Pancake Day!

Seasonal re-posting

Mo bhloga

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In France (and New Orleans) they call it Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) but in Scotland today is Pancake Day!

Dimàirt na h-Inide – Shrove Tuesday

Là nam Foileagan – Pancake Day

Cò bhios a’ dèanamh fhoileagean an-diugh ma-tha?
Who’s making pancakes today then?

via LearnGaelic

In the christian tradition, Shrove Tuesday is the last chance for a blowout before lent begins. In actual fact, winter stores would have been running low by this time anyway so if the christians wanted to introduce a fast into their calendar, late winter was the perfect time to choose. Winter stores were running out, the new growing season was yet to begin – folk had little choice but to tighten their belts and try to hold on until spring.

In the fine Pagan (and Scottish) tradition of taking any excuse for a party, you can imagine folk using the last of their supplies – such as eggs and flour…

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Punxsutawney Phil hates all the people

So, first and foremost: the movie Groundhog Day is a true story! Punxsutawney Phil, men in top hats, even Gobbler's Knob! I had no idea. The grumpy little rodent was hauled out of his bed to be yelled at by a bunch of people first thing on an cold February morning - no wonder he… Continue reading Punxsutawney Phil hates all the people

Greeting from Krampus
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Krampusnacht – re-taking the winter festivals

Last night was Krampusnacht - another pagan tradition the Christians usurped to make themselves seem cooler.  Krampus, a horned, goat-like man-creature was on the prowl last night, searching for naughty children to bundle away in his sack! We managed to survived until morning, but the fact that Teo stayed out of the sack seems little more than a… Continue reading Krampusnacht – re-taking the winter festivals

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Bugs

Source Yesterday was the Chinese Feast of Excited Insects - the start of spring - when insects begin to stir from their winter hibernation. Unfortunately, I have encountered a different sort of bug. In celebration of the excited insects I had some dim-sum (which I bought at the Chinese supermarket).  I suspect I didn't steam them quite long… Continue reading Bugs