In Irish folk tradition, the calendar is principally split into ‘Quarter Days’, so called as they divide the year into each of its four seasons of autumn (Lammas / Lúnasa), winter (Halloween / Samhain), spring (St. Brigid’s Day / Imbolc), and of course summer (May Day / Bealtaine), which falls on the 1st of May. In marking the transition … Continue reading Welcome, noble summer!
‘One of the greatest sources of information we have in Ireland is the Ordnance Survey Books, which were made about a century ago by three men, John O’Donovan, Eugene O’Curry, and George Petrie. They went around and took down all the place names of the country and recorded material of very great importance. But the … Continue reading Dear Diary…
Tomás Ó Muircheartaigh was one of Ireland’s most prolific photographers of the early 20th century. He’s perhaps best remembered for capturing the everyday life of ordinary people living in Ireland’s rural districts. Ó Muircheartaigh was born in Dublin in 1907. His father Tomás and his mother Bríd Ní Mathúna both worked as teachers in the … Continue reading The Ethnologist’s Eye
Moments in Motion from the National Folklore Collection’s Photographic Archive Traditional customs and practices, particularly those no longer forming part of our daily lived experience, can often be difficult to envisage. We can read intricate written descriptions, or listen to vivid audio recollections, but sometimes all you really need is a photograph to bring the … Continue reading Show, don’t just tell