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Myths and Legends of Ireland

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Презентация о мифах и легендах Ирландии языческого и религиозного происхождения
Myths and Legends of Ireland
Мифы и легенды Ирландии
The ancient legends of all nations of the world, bear so striking a
resemblance to each other that we are led to believe there was once
a period when the whole human family was of one creed and one
Dogmatic religion and science have long since killed the mytho-poetic
faculty in cultured Europe. It only exists now, naturally and
instinctively, in children, poets, and the childlike races, like the Irishsimple, joyous, reverent, and unlettered.
Christianity was readily accepted by the Irish. The pathetic tale of the
beautiful young Virgin-Mother and the Child-God, for central objects,
touched all the deepest chords of feeling in the tender, loving, and
sympathetic Irish heart. The legends of ancient times were not
overthrown by it, however, but taken up and incorporated with the
new Christian faith. The holy wells and the sacred trees remained,
and were even made holier by association with a saint’s name.
Irish legends
Spooky myths and
and legends
Legends about
the saints
The creatures from pagan legends
The banshee ( bean-sidhe, Macha, MorRioghain)
Тhe bean-sidhe (woman of the fairy) may be an ancestral spirit
appointed to forewarn members of certain ancient Irish
families of their time of death.
According to tradition, the banshee can only cry for five major
Irish families: the O’Neills, the O’Briens, the O’Connors, the
O’Gradys and the Kavanaghs. The banshee chiefly appears in
one of three guises: a young woman, a stately matron or a
raddled old hag. These represent the triple aspects of the Celtic
goddess of war and death, namely Badhbh, Macha and MorRioghain. She usually wears either a grey, hooded cloak or the
winding sheet or grave robe of the unshriven dead. Although
not always seen, her mourning call is heard, usually at night
when someone is about to die. The banshee may also appear in
a variety of other forms, such as that of a hooded crow, stoat,
hare and weasel — animals associated in Ireland with
The creatures from pagan legends
The Pooka(Puke,Poc)
No fairy is more feared in Ireland than the pooka. It can assume a variety of
terrifying forms. The guise in which it most often appears, however, is that of a
sleek, dark horse with sulphurous yellow eyes and a long wild mane. It roams large
areas of countryside at night, tearing down fences and gates, scattering livestock in
terror, trampling crops and generally doing In some areas the pooka becomes a
small, deformed .The pooka has the power of human speech, and it has been known
to stop in front of certain houses and call out the names of those it wants to take
upon its midnight dashes. If that person refuses, the pooka will vandalise their
property because it is a very vindictive fairy. The name may come from the
Scandinavian pook or puke, meaning ‘nature spirit’. Other authorities suggest that
the name comes from the early Irish poc meaning either ‘a male goat’ or a ‘blow
from a cudgel’. In some areas of the country, the pooka is rather more mysterious
than dangerous, provided it is treated with proper respect. The pooka may even be
helpful on occasion. Only one man has ever managed to ride the pooka and that was
Brian Boru, the High King of Ireland. Using a special bridle containing three hairs
from the pooka’s tail, Brian managed to control the magic horse and stay on its
back until, exhausted, it surrendered to his will. The king extracted two promises
from it; firstly, that it would no longer torment Christian people and ruin their
property and secondly, that it would never again attack an Irishman (all other
nationalities are exempt) except those who are drunk or abroad with an evil intent.
The latter it could attack with greater ferocity than before. The pooka agreed to
these conditions. However, over the intervening years, it seems to have forgotten its
bargain and attacks on property and sober people on their way home continue to
this day.
The creatures from pagan legends
The Dullahan
The dullahan is one of the most spectacular creatures in the Irish fairy.Around
midnight this wild and black-robed horseman may be observed riding a dark and
snorting steed across the countryside. Dullahan has no head upon its shoulders,but
he carries it with him, either on the saddle-brow of his horse or upraised in his right
hand. A hideous, idiotic grin splits the face from ear to ear, and the eyes, which are
small and black, dart about like malignant flies. Wherever the dullahan stops, a
mortal dies. Those who watch from their windows to see him pass are rewarded for
their pains by having a basin of blood thrown in their faces, or by being struck blind
in one eye. In some parts of the country, the dullahan drives a black coach known
as the coach-a-bower. This is drawn by six black horses, and travels so fast that the
friction created by its movement often sets on fire the bushes along the sides of the
road. The Dullahan will stop its snorting horse before the door of a house and shout
the name of the person about to die, drawing forth the soul at the call. He may also
stop at the very spot where a person will die. On nights of Irish feast days, it is
advisable to stay at home with the curtains drawn; particularly around the end of
August or early September when the festival of Crom Dubh reputedly took place. If
you have to be abroad at this time, be sure to keep some gold object close to
hand.The origins of the dullahan are not known for certain, but he is thought to be
the embodiment of an ancient Celtic god, Crom Dubh. Being a fertility god, Crom
Dubh demanded human lives each year, the most favoured method of sacrifice
being decapitation.The worship of Crom continued in Ireland until Christian
missionaries arrived from Scotland. They denounced all such worship and under
their influence, the old sacrificial religions of Ireland began to lose favour.
Nonetheless, Crom Dubh was not to be denied his annual quota of souls, and took
on a physical form which became known as the dullahan or far dorocha (meaning
dark man), the tangible embodiment of death.Unlike the banshee, the dullahan does
not pursue specific families and its call is a summoning of the soul of a dying
person rather than a death warning. There is no real defence against the dullahan
because he is death’s herald. However, an piscopa made of gold may frighten him
away, for dullahan is appear to have an irrational fear of this precious metal.
The religious legends
The most famous
legends about the
Saint Patrick
Saint Briget
Saint Kevin
The Well of the Book
When St. Patrick was one time amongst the Pagan Irish they grew very fierce and seemed
eager to kill him. Then his life being in great danger, he kneeled down before them and prayed
to God for help and for the conversion of their souls. And the fervour of the prayer was so
great that as the saint rose up the mark of his knees was left deep in the stone, and when the
people saw the miracle they believed. Now when he came to the next village the people said if
he performed some wonder for them they also would believe and pray to his God. So St.
Patrick drew a great circle on the ground and bade them stand outside it; and then he prayed,
and the water rushed up from the earth, and a well pure and bright as crystal filled the circle.
And the people believed and were baptized. The well can be seen to this day, and is called
Tober-na-Lauer (The Well of the Book), because St. Patrick placed his own prayer-book in the
centre of the circle before the water rose.
St. Kevin
It is related of St. Kevin that after he had been seven years at Glendalough, a weariness of life
came over him, and a longing to hear the voice of man once more. Then Satan came to him in
the form of an angel, bright and beautiful, and persuaded him that he should quit the valley
and travel abroad and see the world, while yet his youth was left to him. And St. Kevin was
near yielding to the words of the tempter, when fortunately St. Munna came by that way, and
he at once saw through the trick, and showed to St. Kevin that the advice was from the devil,
and not from God. And St. Kevin promised St. Munna that he would never leave the valley till
his death. However, God, not willing that the saint should eat his heart away in idleness, bade
him build a monastery on the east of the lake, the place where the resurrection was to be; and
he sent his angel to show him the exact spot.
But St. Kevin, when he saw the place so wild and rude, could not help telling the friendly
angel that it was very rugged and difficult to build on; and the stones were heavy and hard to
be moved. Then the angel, to prevent any difficulty in the building, rendered the stones light
and easy to move, and so the work of building went on to the glory of God; and St. Kevin
rejoiced in the task set before him.
And the monk who tells the story adds, that from that day in all the place which the angel
appointed for the building, there is now no stone that cannot be lightly moved and easily
worked all through the valley of Glendalough.
The folktale was used to explore answers to questions pertaining
to life and death; it was used to explain tragedies that occurred,
also it was used for entertainment as well as for providing
solace and meaning to those things that are beyond one’s
rationalization or understanding.
Irish folktales are magical or historical stories that are
imaginative, inspirational, and superstitious. These tales have
survived centuries of retelling and interpretations by many, but
they still entrance the audience and capture their imagination.
There is a definitive style and tone to Irish folktales that
appeals to both children and adults; folktales are an excellent
instructional tool which one may use to expose children to the
essential literary elements such as tone, theme, and style. The
importance of the folktale within the Irish culture cannot be
Thank you very much for your
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myths, legends, ireland
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