Irish calendar


Irish calendar

The Irish calendar is a pre-Christian Celtic system of timekeeping used during Ireland's Gaelic era and still in popular use today to define the beginning and length of the day, the week, the month, the seasons, quarter days, and festivals. The Irish calendar does not observe the astronomical seasons that begin in the Northern Hemisphere on the equinoxes and solstices, or the meteorological seasons that begin on March 1, June 1, September 1, and December 1. Rather, the middle of the seasons in the Irish calendar fall around the solstices and equinoxes. As a result, for example, midsummer falls on the summer solstice. The beginnings of the seasons are roughly the halfway points between solstice and equinox:

  • Spring - February, March, April.
  • Summer - May, June, July.
  • Autumn - August, September, October.
  • Winter - November, December, January.

This is a continuation of the Celtic and Gaelic system, which is pagan in origin. This is particularly evident in the Irish (Gaeilge) names for May (Bealtaine), August (Lúnasa) and November (Samhain), which were the names of Gaelic pagan festivals. In addition, the names for September (Meán Fómhair) and October (Deireadh Fómhair) translate directly as "middle of autumn" and "end of autumn". Christianity has also left its mark on the Irish months: the name for December (Nollaig) means Christmastide.

Historical texts suggest that, during Ireland's Gaelic era, the day began and ended at sunset.[1] Through contact with the Romans, the seven-day week was borrowed by continental Celts, and then spread to the peoples of Britain and Ireland.[1] In Irish, four days of the week (Monday, Tuesday, Saturday, Sunday) have names derived from Latin. The other three relate to the fasting done by Catholic clergy.[2]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Koch, John T. Celtic Culture: A Historical Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO (2006). Page 330.
  2. ^ Koch, John T. Celtic Culture: A Historical Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO (2006). Page 331.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Irish Calendar —    The A.M. or Anno Mundi system of dating frequently found in Irish legends may roughly be equated as follows:    A.M. 1 = B.C. 5195    A.M. 195 = B.C. 5000    A.M. 1195 = B.C. 4000    A.M. 2195 = B.C. 3000    A.M. 3195 = B.C. 2000    A.M. 4195 …   Who’s Who in non-classical mythology

  • Irish cuisine — Irish stew Irish cuisine is a style of cooking originating from Ireland or developed by Irish people. It evolved from centuries of social and political change. The cuisine takes its influence from the crops grown and animals farmed in its… …   Wikipedia

  • Irish people — Irishman redirects here. For other uses, see Irishman (disambiguation). This article is about the Irish as an ethnic group and nation. For information on the population of the Republic of Ireland, see Demography of the Republic of Ireland. For… …   Wikipedia

  • Calendar of 1997 — ▪ 1998 JANUARY JANUARY 1       Ghanaian Kofi Annan replaces Egyptian Boutros Boutros Ghali in the position of United Nations secretary general.       Among those knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in the annual New Year s Day ceremony is pop musician …   Universalium

  • Calendar — For other uses, see Calendar (disambiguation). For the Gregorian calendar for this year, see Common year starting on Saturday. A page from the Hindu calendar 1871–1872. A calendar is a system of organizing days for social, religious, commercial,… …   Wikipedia

  • Calendar of 1995 — ▪ 1996 January January 1       Cardoso assumes office       Having won some 54% of the ballots cast in the October 1994 election, Fernando Cardoso took the oath of office as president of Brazil. As chief executive of South America s largest… …   Universalium

  • Irish Poker Open — The Paddy Power Irish Poker Open is the longest running No Limit Texas hold em poker tournament in Europe and second longest in the world after the World Series of Poker.First organized in 1981 by Terry Rogers, a well known Irish bookmaker, the… …   Wikipedia

  • Calendar of 2003 — ▪ 2004 January So long as there is a single Brazilian brother or sister going hungry, we have ample reason to be ashamed of ourselves. Lula, in his inaugural address as president of Brazil, January 1 January 1       The Socialist Lula (Luiz… …   Universalium

  • Calendar of 2002 — ▪ 2003 January I will not wait on events while dangers gather. I will not stand by as peril draws closer and closer. The United States of America will not permit the world s most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world s most destructive… …   Universalium

  • Calendar of 2001 — ▪ 2002 January America has never been united by blood or birth or soil. We are bound by ideals that move us beyond our backgrounds, lift us above our interests and teach us what it means to be citizens. Every child must be taught these principles …   Universalium


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.