Sunday, January 04, 2015

Dublin Winter Solstice Celebration

Now that the days are getting longer, let me bring you back to a celebration of the winter solstice that was held here in Dublin. This particular celebration began a few years ago, initially as a small and informal event. Now it has expanded and been adopted by the City Council.

Events began in the Riding School Hall of the National Museum in Collins Barracks. Here there was food and drink available, There was some music and also storytelling. The picture above shows people listening to a linking some ancient Irish queen to a deity and the Newgrange burial mound.

Many people were wearing ivy garlands in their hair. You could make these yourself or if, like me, you are not very handy readymades were available.

I always look grumpy in photographs.

The action moved outside, into the courtyard of the Museum.

The Snow Queen arrived. The Sacred Flame was lit.

My beloved was excited by the arrival of Lord Summerisle.

Then we processed from the Museum and along the Quays. I do not know what people trying to drive into the city centre made of it all.

The procession ended up in Smithfield Square. The Christmas Tree there struck a jarring note. The Christmas Tree has now been wholly appropriated by Christianity, yet this Solstice Celebration was an entirely Pagan affair with no room for the Galilean.

There was some more Pagan ceremonial stuff. People burned withies in the fire that had been lit at the Museum. These were paper or wooden things on which they had written wishes for the coming year. Then the flame was held aloft.

And then the crowd began to disperse. The Sacred Flame was guarded as it burned itself out. A new year has begun.

See also:

Some more pictures

Slí an Chroí, Native Celtic Shamanism in Ireland, the organisers of the event.

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