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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Medb’s Lughnasadh Games 2012

Family Fun Day
 Sunday 29th July
Lughnasadh Games
BBQ and Bouncy Castle
Live Music
Running, Jumping, Throwing
Poetry, Singing, Storytelling
Dress like a warrior.
Design your own royal standard.
Make your own medieval pots
Craft Stalls, Historical
Re-enactments, Workshops
 Entrance is Free.

We really want to mark Lughnasadh with some games this year so we're combining the summer Open Day on the 29th July with a few children's games, races and quizzes, with some dressing up and storytelling thrown in. 
Luckily we're getting together with the Tulsk Inn across the way, who will be organizing the BBQ and the Bouncy Castle for the day and also have live music in the evening so it will be a great day for all.

In Irish mythology the Lughnasadh festival is said to have been first held by Lugh, as funeral games to honour his foster-mother Tailtiu, the Fir Bolg Goddess who died of exhaustion after clearing the plains of Ireland in preparation for Agriculture.
The first location of the Aenach Tailteann gathering was at Teltown, between Navan and Kells, Co Meath. Historically this was a contest of strength and speed as well as skill and agility. The festival was a time of truce with competition on the sporting field not the battle field. The Lughnasadh Games began as early as the Bronze Age. Offerings to the God Lugh took place on hilltops like nearby Loughcrew. (These games were visited by many foreign traders wanting to sell their goods, some of these we know came from Greece. It is possible that they carried back the idea of warrior Games and so began the Olympics.) 

The festival survived as the Taillten Fair for many centuries. It was a market fair with first fruits for sale and many items made during the winter on display. Races were held, particularly horse races through the Blackwater River. It was revived for a time after Independence as the Taillten Games. 

Sometimes called the Gathering of Lugh, it coincides with the weening of lambs born at Imbolc and the shearing of sheep. It celebrates the protective power of Lugh, who presides over it and is honoured as a guardian of the wild and of cultivated crops.

 The famous Teltown Marriage also originates from this festival. These were temporary unions, in keeping with Brehon Law, that were entered into during the festival. This was done by holding hands, or handfasting, through a holed stone on the site. Some would last a day, others as long as a year and a day. These were contracts not sacraments and both had to agree to the terms. The marriage was dissolved by each walking in opposite directions from the stone.

Just as Brigid was asked to temper the winter elements at Imbolc, so Lugh was asked to temper the heat of summer at it's hottest time to allow the crops to ripen and not wither. Thunderstorms are considered a good omen at this time.
(I know we want a good omen from Lugh but could it be blazing sun instead? The Sunburst is, after all, the emblem of Royal Connacht.) 

Get ready, get set.....RUN!

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