We've let Bitey out of the cage for Halloween. I'll try to make sure he doesn't bite. Now scroll down for your free Irish language lesson for Halloween.
Samhain Sow-in marks one of the two main points in the Celtic year – November 1st. The other one is Lá Bealtaine Law Byall-tin-eh on May 1st. These two days break up the year into two seasons: the light and the dark.
The light part starts in early summer on Lá Bealtaine, and the dark part starts in early winter on Samhain, which litterally means "the end of summer".
In the early centuries of the first millennium A.D., the Celts practiced an elaborate religion through their priestly caste, the Druids.
Samhain Sow-in marked the first day of winter, when the cattle and the sheep were brought from the pastures back to the stables, when the harvest was stored and the fattest animals slaughtered to feed the people through the winter months.
It was believed that at Samhain Sow-in the gods drew nearer to the Earth, so many sacrifices and gifts were offered in thanksgiving for the harvest. Fires were lit and people threw in objects symbolizing their wishes and prayers.
Samhain Sow-in was changed to Hallowmas -- a feast to honor the dead -- with the rise of Christianity.
The custom of trick-or-treating may have originated from an old Irish custom of going door-to-door to collect bread, cheese, nuts and apples in preparation for the feasting at Samhain.
Samhain Sow-in is a time of fairies, ghosts, demons, and witches. In Celtic mythology winter was the season of ghosts, and Samhain is the night when they are released from the underworld. Many people lit bonfires to keep the evil spirits at bay.
Light a bonfire, they keep the evil spirits away!
Apples played a big role in divinations on Samhain. Apple peeling was a divination to see how long your life would be - the longer the unbroken apple peel, the longer your life was destined to be.
Samhain Sow-in was also known as Nutcrack Night, because it was a popular custom at Samhain to throw nuts on the fire.
If a nut burned brightly it meant that the thrower would be alive in twelve months time. If it flared up brightly it meant marriage within twelve months.
To see if a relationship will last, you have to place two hazelnuts side by side and burn them over a fire. If they stay together as they burn, the couple will last. If the nuts burst apart the relationship will break up.
This conversation builds on previous conversation phrases in this program.
Micheál Mee-hawl and Pádraig Pahd-rig have been friends when they were children. They met for lunch after not seeing eachother for a couple of years. As they are saying goodbye they are planning a night out for Halloween.
Micheál: An mbeidh tú ag dul amach i gcóir Oíche Shamhna? On meg too egg duhl a-mokh ih goir Ee-ha How-na? Will you be going Halloween night?
Pádraig: Beidh mé. Ach ar dtús, beidh mé ar thóir milseán le mo pháistí. Beg may. Ok er doos, beg may err hore mill-shawn leh muh fawsh-tee. I will be. But first, I will be hunting for candy with my children.
Micheál: Cén aois dóibh? Cane eesh doh-iv? How old are they?
Pádraig: Tá Seán trí bliana d'aois, agus tá Úna cúig bliana d'aois. Taw Shawn tree blee-on-a deesh, og-us taw Oo-na koo-ig blee-on-a deesh. Seán is three years old, and Úna is five years old.
Micheál: Ná ith an iomarca milseán! Naw ih un um-er-ka mill-shawn! Don't eat too many candies!
Pádraig: Triailfidh mé gan. An bhfeicfidh mé thú ag a hocht a' chlog? Tree-il-hig may gon. Un vek-hig may hoo eg a hucht a klug? I'll try not to. Will I see you at eight o' clock?
Micheál: Cinnte, feicfidh mé thú. Slán. Kin-che, fek-hig may hoo. Slawn. Sure, see you. Bye.
Pádraig: Slán leat. Slawn lyat. Goodbye.
Hope you don’t scare too easily ;)
If you feel a connection with Ireland, then learning to speak its native language will bring you closer to its spirit. We can help you.
Here at Bitesize Irish Gaelic, we have a full course of 173 online Irish (Gaelic) lessons.
Sign up to Bitesize Irish Gaelic today for all 173 lessons, and you’ll be on your way to learning the Irish language. We have a 30-day money-back guarantee, so there’s nothing to lose.