Bookstore

 

I have published a book on Irish Folklore, entitled Blood Rite: The Feast of St. Martin in Ireland. It is available for purchase here:

https://www.tiedekirja.fi/english/blood-rite-the-feast-of-st-martin-in-ireland.html

The Feast of St. Martin falls on the 11th of November, and used to be celebrated throughout most parts of Ireland in an unusual way. Householders, usually led by the woman of the house, would stand on the doorstep at sundown on the eve of the feast, and kill an animal or bird by slitting its throat with a knife. They used to then spill the blood on the threshold, and let drops fall from the dying animal in the four corners of the house. In some places, they would even anoint the members of the family on the forehead with the blood. This, they believed, kept people safe from disease, death and evil spirits during the coming winter. The custom persisted long into the 20th century in many places, and even into the 21st in some parts of the west. People also believed that it was wrong to turn wheels of any kind on St. Martin’s Day, and that great punishments would fall on anyone who yoked a horse and cart, turned a spinning wheel, or worked a mill. The sacrifice and shedding of blood on this day was once part of the ancient festival of Samhain, but changed in the medieval period to the new date of November 11th.  This fascinating topic is discussed in Billy Mag Fhloinn’s new book, Blood Rite: The Feast of St. Martin in Ireland, which will be launched by journalist and folklorist Seán Mac an tSíthigh in An Lab, Dingle on March 3rd at 7.30pm

Titeann an Fhéile Mhártain ar an 11ú Samhain, agus ba nós coitianta in Éirinn tráth ná fuil a tharraingt in onóir don naomh. Bean a’ tí de ghnáth a dhein an marú, ar leic an dorais le titim na hoíche ar an 10ú, agus ligtí an fhuil titim ar an tairseach, agus i gceithre cúinne an tí. Uaireanta d’úsáidtí an fhuil chun muintir an tí a bhaisteadh ar an éadain. Chreidtí go raibh an fhuil seo beannaithe, agus gur choimeád sí daoine slán ón mbás, galar agus olcas i rith an gheimhridh. Bhiodh cosc ar rotha a chasadh ar an lá seo chomh maith, agus staon daoine ó aon saghas oibre le capall is cairt, tuirne nó muileann. Is iomaí finscéal a léiríonn an droththoradh a bhí ar daoine a d’imigh in aghaidh an naoimh, agus a chur roth ag casadh ar an 11ú. D’fhán na nósanna seo beo i bhformhór na tire go dtí an 20ú aois, agus in áiteanna áirithe san iarthar go dtí an 21ú. Baineann an íobairt seo le seanfhéile na Samhna, ach bogadh ar aghaidh é go dtí Lá ‘le Mártain sna meánaoiseanna. Pléitear an t-ábhar suimiúil seo sa leabhar nua le Billy Mag Fhloinn, darbh ainm ‘Blood Rite, The Feast of St. Martin in Ireland’. Seolfaidh an t-iriseoir is béaloideasóir Seán Mac an tSíthigh an leabhar sa Lab, An Daingean ar an 3ú Marta ar 7.30 in.