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This article was written by Tadhg MacCrossan on February 24, 2002
posted under Druidism
A year was
called a bleidoni (twelve months, or thirteen in a leap year), and it
was divided into two main seasons: samon, "summer," and giamon,
"winter." A sonnocingos, "solar-march," was the term for a solar year of
365.5 days. A bleidoni had four festivals: Samhain (sah-win), Oimelc
(im-elg), Bealtaine (byel-tin-uh) and Lughnasadh (loo-nuh-suh).
There were no celebrations of solstices or equinoxes, as many modern-day
neopagans have erroneously assumed. Such festivals as Yule, Ostara, Saturnalia,
Midsummer, Charming of the Plough, Lupercalia and Walpurgisnacht were alien to
the Celts. They knew nothing of these festivals in pre-Christian times.
Candlemas, Lammas, and Hallowe’en are Celtic festivals that were Christianized;
May Day became a spring festival.
were probably made at every Full Moon, or around the sixth night of a month
when the moon was waxing. This night was called the iuos (ee-wawss); the
second fortnight was called the atenouxtes, "re-nights" or
"again-nights," when the moon was waning. Daily prayers to the sun were
probably made at dawn, similar to the Teutonic greeting of Sunna or the
Hindu-Brahmanic Gayatri. Most Celtic festivals actually began on the fifteenth
night of a month. Lughnasadh actually lasted for a whole fortnight (two weeks),
and sometimes longer! It was a sort of Celtic version of today’s Olympic games,
but held annually.
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