The Pooka In Irish Folklore

The púca (Irish for spirit/ghost), pooka, phouka, phooka, phooca, puca or púka is primarily a creature of Celtic folklore. Considered to be bringers both of good and bad fortune, they could either help or hinder rural and marine communities.The Púca can have dark or staunch white fur or hair. The creatures were said to be shape changers which could take the appearance of horses, goats, cats, dogs, and hares. They may also take a human form, which includes various animal features, such as ears or a tail.

The Phooka

Faeries by Brian Froud and Alan Lee

 

Irish Christmas Traditions

irish christmas traditions

Ireland is a magical country, filled with tradition and folklore dating back many years. Christmas in Ireland is an especially magical time of year. Many Irish Christmas traditions have become part of the Christmas celebration of many nationalities and have made their way into main stream American Christmas customs.

In Ireland people say “Nollaig Shona Duit” pronounced NO-Lihg HO-nuh ghwich. This Irish Christmas greeting literally translates to Happy Christmas.

One beloved Irish Christmas tradition is that of the Christmas plum pudding. The traditional Irish Christmas plum pudding has had humble beginnings. Plum pudding was originally a porridge flavored with scraps of leftover meat or fish, thickened with bread crumbs and bound together with eggs, fruit and spices. During the Tudor and Stuart period in England, dried prunes were added to the pudding mixture which became known as a plum porridge. Eventually becoming called plum pudding and often eaten with Brandy Butter Sauce.

Another very common Christmas custom in Ireland is the candle window. The placing of a lighted candle in the window of a house on Christmas Eve is still practiced today and has become an American Christmas tradition as well. The candle in the window has a number of purposes. One of its primary meanings is as a welcoming symbol to Mary and Joseph as they traveled looking for shelter. The candle also indicated a safe place for Catholic priests to perform mass during the penal times when Catholic masses were not allowed. Another part of the tradition is the candle should be lit by the youngest member of the family and should only be extinguished by a girl bearing the name Mary.

In Ireland celebrating the Feast Day of St. Stephen’s is usually accompanied with the Wren Boy Procession. Saint Stephen’s Day celebrated on December 26th, also know as the Day of the Wren is a national holiday in Ireland.

During Penal times there was a plot in a village against the local soldiers. The soldiers were surrounded and about to be ambushed when a flock of wrens pecked on their drums and awakened them in time to defend themselves. The plot failed and the wren became known as the “Devil’s Bird”.

On Saint Stephen’s Day a procession takes place where pole with a holly bush is carried from house to house and families dress up in old clothes with blackened faces. In olden days an actual wren bird was killed and placed on the pole. This custom has largely disappeared but the tradition of visiting from house to house on St. Stephen’s has survived and is a large part of the Irish Christmas celebration today.

Last but not least a fabulous Irish Christmas tradition that hasn’t made its way to the states is called “Women’s Christmas”. In Ireland on January 6th, the Feast of the Epiphany, is when traditionally the Irish finish celebrating Christmas. It is also known as “Nollaigh na mBean” in Irish or “Women’s Christmas”. Tradition has it that women get the day off and the men of the house get to do the housework, cooking and take down the Christmas decorations. Women meet up to go have a day out and treat themselves. Have you ever celebrated “Women’s Christmas”?

The Irish Jewelry Company- “Carrying on Irish Tradition on gift at a time.”
Shop Irish online at http://www.theirishjewelrycompany.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Jennifer_Derrig/2157773

 

via Irish Christmas Traditions and Customs.

Christmas Gift Delivery Shipping & Delivery for 2015

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Christmas Gift Delivery, by Christmas Eve Dec 24th 2015

2015 Christmas Shipping (Recommended Cut-Off Dates)

Standard International Shipping: Order by Dec. 11th.

UPS Ground/Flat Rate Shipping: (East Coast) Order by Monday, Dec. 21st by 10am Est for delivery on or about Dec. 24th. (this is not guaranteed)

(West Coast) Order by Friday, Dec. 18th by 10am Est for delivery on or about Dec. 24th. (this is not guaranteed)

UPS 3Day Select Shipping: Order by Monday Dec. 21st by 10am Est for delivery on Dec. 24th anytime time up until 9pm. (Guaranteed Delivery)

UPS 2Day Shipping: Order by Tuesday Dec. 22nd by 10am Est for delivery on Dec 24th anytime time up until 9pm. (Guaranteed Delivery)

UPS Next Day Shipping:  Order by Wdnesday Dec. 23rd by 11:30am Est for delivery on Dec. 24th anytime time up until 9pm. (Guaranteed Delivery)

Important Holiday Shipping Dates and Information:

Thanksgiving, Nov. 26th 2015 (IJC Customer service is unavailable we are CLOSED)

Black Friday, Nov. 27th2015 (IJC Customer service is unavailable we are CLOSED)

Small Buisness Saturday, Nov. 28th 2015

Cyber Monday, Nov. 29th 2015

Christmas Eve, Thursday Dec 24th 2015

  • Normal delivery of air, international and ground shipments.
  • Pickup service available for air and international shipments if prearranged by Tuesday, Dec. 23. UPS On-Call Pickup service and UPS Drop Boxes are available to all customers for air and international shipments.* No UPS Ground, UPS Standard or 3 Day Select pickups until Friday, Dec. 26.

Christmas Day, Friday Dec. 25th 2015

No UPS pickup or delivery service. (IJC Customer service is unavailable we are CLOSED)

New Years Eve & News Years Day 2016

No UPS pickup or delivery service. (IJC Customer service is unavailable we are CLOSED)

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The Dullahan – The Irish Headless Horseman

The Irish legend of the Dullahan, or English translation “dark man” is unnerving. The Headless Horseman or Dullahan is the Irishdullahan the irish jewelry company foreteller of death. The Dullahan rides a jet black horse with flames shooting from its eyes, carrying his head under one arm. Irish folklore says that when he stops riding, a human dies.


There are many versions of this scary tale. Some say that the Dullahan throws buckets of blood at people he passes, while other say he simply calls out the name of the mortal that will soon die.
But as with most evil entities the Dullahan has a weakness. The Dullahan can not stand the sight of GOLD. So you would be wise when traveling on this Halloween to carry a wee bit of in case you have a run-in with this headless horror!

Irish Fairies and Anti Fairy Measures

In Ireland there are fairies, good natured and there are FAIRIES. If you’ve ever traveled at night on the winding Irish back roads in the countryside of Ireland you would know it is a kind of eerie darkness that puts fear in your very heart. One can easily imagine something moving over the moors or hearing the forlorn screech of a dammed fairy.

celtic fairyAs a child in Ireland you are warned to not play inside a fairy fort because the fairies don’t like it and might curse you or worse they might fancy you. Fairy forts are mounds or hills found all over Ireland. They are the ruins of circular mound dwellings in which people lived during the Iron Age such as Newgrange.

‘Away with the fairies’ is an old Irish expression referring to someone whose mind is elsewhere. It originated with the belief in the folklore that mischievous fairies steal souls and carry children off to the underworld, leaving changelings in their place.
A Changeling is a creature thought to be the offspring of a fairy that has been secretly left in the place of a human child. It is thought that fairies often fancy mortals and steal their pretty children. They carry the babies away leaving behind a Changeling, an ailing fairy child, or a log of wood so bewitched that they seems to be a mortal pining away in bewilderment.
They say if you wear your clothing inside out or wear bells you can ward off the malevolent fairies.

Anti-Fairy Measures for Halloween:12047118_10156157606690245_1081658573287531121_n

There is an old Irish folklore that warns of fairies and goblins that try to collect as many souls as they can at Halloween. Folklore says if you through the dust from under your feet at the Fairy then they would be obliged to release any souls that they held captive.

Grace O’Malley, the 16th Century Pirate Queen of Ireland…

In-honor of International Talk Like a Pirate Day….

Grace O’Malley was born in Ireland in around 1530. She was the daughter of Owen O’Malley. O’malley was a wealthy nobleman and sea trader. WhenO’Malley died Grace inherited his large shipping and trading business. Grace O’Malley commanded a dozen ships and thousands of men. Grace’s vast empire of ships stretched from Connaught on the Irish coast to Africa. Through the daring of her piracy, Grace nearly bankrupted the English treasury-and her outright defiance brought embarrassment to Queen Elizabeth I.

graceomalley

International Talk Like a Pirate Day or ITLAPD is on September 19. It is a parodic holiday created in 1995 by John Baur (Ol’ Chumbucket) and Mark Summers (Cap’n Slappy), of Albany, Oregon, U.S., who proclaimed September 19 each year as the day when everyone in the world should talk like a pirate. Arghhhhh!

In honor of International Talk Like a Pirate Day
Take 15% Off everything you purchase today only!
Enter promo code ARGHH15

Offer good today on International Talk Like a Pirate Day, September 19th, only. Shop online at Talk-Like-a-Pirate-Dayhttp://www.theirishjewelrycompany.com/