Search Results for 'Niall Mac Coitir'

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Thousands expected to throng Claregalway for garden festival

Thousands of people are expected to flock to Claregalway this Saturday and Sunday for the second annual Galway Garden festival, to be held in historic Claregalway Castle.

Galway Garden Festival set to rock the castle walls — again

Galway has a multiplicity of festivals, all honed over the years into something special. But none of these made the instant impact that the Galway Garden Festival did when it was inaugurated last year, over two days of differing climatic conditions at the beautifully-restored Claregalway Castle.

Galway Garden Festival set to rock the castle walls — again

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Galway has a multiplicity of festivals, all honed over the years into something special. But none of these made the instant impact that the Galway Garden Festival did when it was inaugurated last year, over two days of differing climatic conditions at the beautifully-restored Claregalway Castle.

The Luther Christmas tree

I always thought that the Christmas tree, which gives a special pleasure in any home, was a Victorian thing, introduced by Prince Albert in the early 19th century. But reading Niall Mac Coitir’s fascinating book Irish Trees - Myths, Legends and Folklore* I learned that legend has it that the idea of the Christmas fir tree first came to Martin Luther. After walking one Christmas Eve under a clear winter sky lit by 1,000 stars, he set up for his children a tree with countless candles as an image of the starry heaven whence Christ came. However, the first known record of a modern Christmas tree comes from Strasbourg in 1605 when fir trees were set up and decorated.

Chasing the girls, and hunting the wren

Even though mistletoe is not native to Ireland it has long been associated with Christmas here. The tangled green plant, with its soft white berries, has been introduced in some Irish counties (grafted onto apple trees), and was being sold in basket fulls at the Galway market last December.

 

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