Fáilte! (pronounced “fall-sha,” means welcome.) When M & B explores a nation, we enjoy the art, flavors, dancing, games, language and customs. This week celebrating Ireland will be no different. And it will be hosted by our resident Irish family who spent half their summer on the Emerald Isle. Thank you T, L, L, & L!
We will get a bit of storytelling to understand the Great Potato Famine that drove many an Irish to our nation’s shores. Maybe a bit of wee folk lore sprinkled in. The mother and son duo will even teach us a bit of the old language, the Gaelic. And not just how to say it, but how to spell it as well. For those of you wanting to get in an Old Irish frame of mind, I couldn’t recommend enough, the movie, The Secret of Roan Inish. A great family movie for lads and lassies of any age. It tells a modern story of a young girl gone to live with her Grandparents on an obscure Irish island, while stringing together many of the best Irish folktales, including one of a Silky, who is a magical seal that temporarily turns into a human woman.
The last Ice Age melted away some 10,000 years ago, and that dramatic event created the English Channel, the Irish Sea and hundreds of rivers and lakes. Ireland and Great Britain (long attached to the European continent) were now islands. The Celtic people occupied great stretches of land across central Europe by 500 BC. They first arrived in Ireland around 300 BC, subsequently controlling and influencing this land that the powerful Roman culture had never reached. Over the centuries, Vikings and British forces tried to over power the Celts. And even through through out the 17th century, Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain was not able to “Hang the Harpers wherever found,” as she is quoted for saying. For the Irish people are strong, proud and fun loving. And they exist through out, not only Ireland, but most large metropolises in the United States. The later is pretty evident come March 17th, when most of us with Irish heritage or not, celebrate Saint Patrick’s day. Thank you ahead of time to Tara and her family for sharing crafts, stories and more of their heritage!!! And mark your calendars for the Abbot Kinney Festival in Venice in early October.
Also known as the “Lover’s Knot”, the Eternity Knot, is used in many Celtic wedding rings, it shows two continuous, unbroken loops that are intertwined and inseparable from each other. As the lives of the bride and groom are merged in eternal unity and fidelity, so are the circular strands; inseparably bound together for eternity.
The History of Celtic Knot-work:
Originally inscribed on Irish Manuscripts and Celtic stone carvings, Celtic Knots provide seem to be a part of the heart and soul of Ireland itself.
Middle Eastern Inspiration
Monks who came to Ireland were influenced by the knot-work styles from the Middle Eastern Syrian and Coptic manuscripts. As these Irish monks began creating their own beautiful manuscripts, such as the Book of Armagh, the Book of Durrow, and the Book of Kells, they took the designs from those lands and created a uniquely Irish art form.