celtic culture

Autumnal equinox, Alban Elfed

Autumnal equinox, Alban Elfed

The celtic feast Mean Fomhair, also known as Herfest or Alban Elfed, is celebrated in the period of the autumnal equinox. During this period, people give thanks to the Sun, the elves and especially the god of the forest – Green Man. They thank them for an abundant harvest and help with growth and cultivation. As a sign of respect and gratitude, people give gifts in the form of the most beautiful flowers and crops of the best quality on the altar. Other offerings, for example wine, cider, herbs and fertilizer are spilled or scattered on the harvested fields and gardens. The horn of plenty is the ancient symbol of the rich harvest.

This year the autumnal equinox occurs in the northern hemisphere on September 22nd, when day is as long as night. After this day the power of the sun becomes slowly weaker and the following days are markedly shorter and colder. We enter into a new period, a period of rest and sleep. When the winter season comes, we should meet our obligations associated with summer and finish work in the garden to spend a dark and wintery period in calm contemplation. We should share everything that the harvest gave us with people close to us. The basis of this festival is a celebration of the reunion of family and making good interpersonal and family relationships.

Lughnasadh

Lughnasadh

Lughnasadh is the next of the most important Celtic festivals, which is celebrated on August 1st. This festival marks the beginning of the harvest, celebrates the abundance of nature and the generosity of Mother Earth.

Celebrations can hold on high hills, at sacred trees and wells or at other important natural formations. During Lughnasadh people invoke and worship the Pagan divinities and ask them to protect ripening crops.

It is a time of races, horse races, dances and various contests of strenght and skill. It is a good time for weddings.

To honor the harvest is baked pie from berries.

Moonstone

Moonstone

This menhir was erected by Celtic culture two thousand years ago. Its specialty is a monthly face on the top. It was the custom at the time of full moon to come to the menhir and ask it for answers. People put small gifts down around the menhir. Usually fruit, bread, candles, straw toys. Such a relationship to a stone may seem weird to us today. Worship and trust in its advice? Everyone is going to laugh at us. In particular people who sit in front of TV daily and completely devour information from anonymous sources. They never ask why is this information presented to them, who in the background is interested to communicate this information and what is the purpose? They don’t ask, but yet they despise others who can lay questions. Their life is false. It is about the information of others to which they do not really understand. I don’t know about you, but I prefer to sit down in the evening in the full moon by the Moonstone and listen to its stories!