Thursday, November 24, 2011

459. Samhain

Coinnigh fós mo chroí amaideach,
ní cúis náire dom os comhair na ndaoine.
Impigh mé de tú, mé a iarraidh seo.

Be quiet now my foolish heart,
bring me no shame in the eyes of others.
I ask this of you, I implore you.

Lá go leor agus oíche tar éis a ritheadh
i measc daoine nach bhfuil mo chuid féin a -
Fós tá siad chun bheith amhlaidh.

Many are the days and nights gone by
among this people who are not my own -
Yet they have become so.

Chreid mé mo shaol go raibh mianach,
agus tá sé seo fíor ag amanna áirithe
ach nach bhfuil ag amanna eile.

I had a thought my life was my own,
and this is a true thing at certain times
but at other times not so.


This is not "classical" Irish, more like a stab in the dark - a poke in the right direction. Gaelgeori (the language purists) will be coming after me like the Morríghan. I'll stay a skip and a step ahead: the story of my life so far.

Samhain had its beginnings in an ancient, pre-Christian Celtic festival of the dead. The Celtic peoples, who were once found all over Europe, divided the year by four major holidays. According to their calendar, the year began on a day corresponding to November 1st on our present calendar. November marked both an ending and a beginning in the eternal cycle.

The pronunciation (for you language freaks) is "saah-wan". Feb. 1 is "Imbolg"; May 1 is "Bealtaine" (bell-tawn); Aug. 1 is "Lunasa" (loon-asa). Instant Celts!