|Spectacular & Spooky street art in the medieval town of Kilkenny|
Just back from Ireland, the ancient land where so many Halloween and Harvest traditions were born, I am trying to relish the holiday and the season. Above and below I am sharing some macabre photos from my rambles. Halloween has it roots in the Irish Celtic festival of Samhain, meaning summer's end. Check out Bitesize Gaelic for English & Irish Halloween words and pronunciations. Before it was all kitkats & zombies, Samhain was a time to ready for the dark half of the year, for it marked the Celtic New Year. It was a time to honor ancestors (which I did in Ireland, tracing my ancestors past), loved ones, and the loss of the past year. It was a liminal time when, it was believed, that the veil between this world and the other was thin and when fairies, goblins, and darker spirits came and went, roamed free on the eve of Samhain. It is natural that bonfires were a way keep such spirits at bay as well as celebrate a new year. So on this rainy mist covered Halloween, light some candles or a jovial bonfire and ready yourself for winter, for winter is coming.
|near the ruins of Kells Priory|
|stones at small chapel on the grounds of Tintern Abbey, County Wexford|
|Stones at monastic ruins of Glendalough, Co. Wicklow|
|Crows keeping watch at Hore Abbey, County Tipperary|