The arrival of the harvest was for our forebears a time of great celebration, for it marked the point at which the lean months of June and 'Hungry July' (when the year's stores were traditionally at their lowest), gave way to a period of profusion and plenty.
In this month's edition of Blúiríní Béaloidis / Folklore Fragments, your hosts Jonny Dillon and Claire Doohan take to the fields to consider the harvest in tradition, discussing hilltop celebrations, naked horse-swimming races and the spirit of the crops itself, which appears all over Europe, in the form of a female nature spirit known broadly as the 'Corn Mother', as well as being symbolically represented by several animals.
Join us then, as we ring in the harvest season, that we might enjoy and partake of its fruits and give thanks to the earth from which they have sprung; the earth to which we return harvest after harvest, generation after generation, unceasingly, and without end.
* * * * * Visit duchas.ie (the project to digitise the holdings of the National Folklore Collection) to explore material relating to the harvest in traditon. Harvest: www.duchas.ie/en/src?q=harvest&t=CbesStory Sheaf Customs: www.duchas.ie/en/src?q=sheaf&t=CbesStory
An introductory address by Jonny Dillon of the Folklore of Ireland Society, to open 'Coinleach Glas an Fhómhair'; a night of music, song, storytelling and dance pertaining to the harvest in Irish tradition, which was held in Dublin's Christ Church Cathedral, on the night of Friday the 29th of September 2016: www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JlOHTiVoww
The closing set to 'Coinleach Glas an Fhómhair' - a night of traditional music, song, dance and storytelling from Irish tradition, all of which pertained to the theme of the harvest, and which was held in Dublin's Christ Church Cathedral on the night of Friday the 29th of September 2016: www.youtube.com/watch?v=99pRom_8IcU
Harvest Knot Images: www.google.ie/search?q=Harvest+K…B&biw=1504&bih=899 Last Sheaf Images: www.google.ie/search?client=safa…0i24k1.IDmKFxUZSmI
The image used for this podcast shows the process of reaping and binding (as carried out by two particularly diligent young ladies!) in Co. Louth, 1946.