Eamon P. Kelly
Friday 7th September - 3:00 to 4.30pm,
Teach Duinn - The Bull Rock, Co. Cork where the souls of the dead were gathered to be taken into the Otherworld.
The pre-Christian religious beliefs of the Irish were centered on sun worship and the main religious festivals were celebrated at important times in the solar year such as at the summer and winter solstices and the spring and autumn equinoxes. Centrally placed between the solstices and the equinoxes were the cross quarter day festivals known as Imbolc, Bealtinne, Lughnasa and Samhain. Other important festivals were set by a tripartite division of the solar year. These festivals in turn attracted Christian feast days some of which have preserved customs and practices from earlier pagan times. The talk will discuss the nature of ancient pagan religious practices and will illustrate the manner in which modern folk custom and practice has preserved many aspects of the ancient traditions. Linkages will be made between folk practices in Ireland and elsewhere as well as with associated religious practices known from the classical world. The talk will be illustrated.
Eamonn P. Kelly is the former Keeper of Irish Antiquities in the National Museum of Ireland. He has lectured and published widely on a range of archaeological topics and is a regular contributor to television documentaries relating to ancient Ireland.
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The Expert Workshop series are now in their fifth successful year. Curated by Fiona Fitzsimons, (Eneclann, Irish Family History Centre), and currently held monthly in the Royal Irish Academy, Dawson St.