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Aine MacAodha ~ Poetry and Lens

Aine MacAodha

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Omagh, North Ireland, Ireland
Writer/poet,avid photographer with a great interest in Celtic Myths, Mysticism, crystal healing, orbs in photography, Chemtrails, the sky above and the beauty in the Irish landscape . I live in Omagh North of Ireland where the Sperrin Mountains are my inspiration in any season. I have three poetry books published titled 'Where the Three Rivers Meet' and 'Guth An Anam ~Voice of The Soul and my latest Published by Lapwing Press Belfast, 'Landscape of self'~ You can find my links at top of my blog.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Lughnasadh, Lúnasa; Lammas.

As  Lúnasa; Lughnasadh, Lammas celebrated in August I got to thinking of my late parents who never  missed the Ould lammas Fair in Ballycastle. They'd look forward to this from June and often talked about the sights they'd seen from Horses, musicians and bedding to tools  being sold. It was a sort of pilgrimage especially for my mother.  When they would return they'd often bring Yellow man a honeycomb rock or type of toffee and dulse; seaweed which I disliked but enjoyed the Yellow Man, very sweet made with syrup and brown sugar although my father when in the humour would make us toffee and fudge and I liked it better. I attended a writers weekend back in 2000 in Knocklayde near Ballycastle a wonderful refreshing place with breath taking hills and valleys. Never been to the Lammas Fair though. I have great memories and stories told my my ould fellagh.

  Lammas fair in Ballycastle is one of the oldest in Ireland at over three hundred years old and still going strong. from the last Monday and Tuesday of August. It is associated with the Lammas harvest festival.
A ballad written by local shopkeeper and bog-oak carver John Henry MacAuley enhanced the local fame of the fair. MacAuley was also a well known fiddler, but died in 1937 before his song became famous.

~The Ould Lammas Fair~

by John Henry MacAuley

At the Ould Lammas Fair in Ballycastle long ago

I met a pretty colleen who set me heart a-glow

She was smiling at her daddy buying lambs from Paddy Roe

At the Ould Lammas Fair in Ballycastle-O!

Sure I seen her home that night

When the moon was shining bright

From the ould Lammas Fair in Ballycastle-O!


At the Ould Lammas Fair boys were you ever there

Were you ever at the Fair In Ballycastle-O?

Did you treat your Mary Ann

To some Dulse and Yellow Man

At the Ould Lammas Fair in Ballycastle-O!

In Flander's fields afar while resting from the War

We drank Bon Sante to the Flemish lassies O!

But the scene that haunts my memory is kissing Mary Ann

Her pouting lips all sticky from eating Yellow Man

As we passed the silver Margy and we strolled along the strand

From the Ould Lammas Fair in Ballycastle-O!


There's a neat little cabin on the slopes of fair Knocklayde

It's lit by love and sunshine where the heather honey's made

With the bees ever humming and the children's joyous call

Resounds across the valley as the shadows fall

Sure I take my fiddle down and my Mary smiling there

Brings back a happy mem'ry of the Lammas Fair


Lughnasadh; Celtic harvest festival,  its name taken from the Celtic god Lugh. years later Lughnasadh was christianized as Lammas, the Anglo-Saxon, hlaf-mas, "Loaf-Mass,"
 In rural areas, it was often remembered as "Bilberry Sunday," a day for a climb up the nearest  hill and gather  a few black berries; gods kitchen supplies. Bilberry Sunday on Croagh Patrick in  County Mayo now known as Reek Sunday celebrates Saint Patrick.


Kat Mortensen said...

Lovely post, Aine. I looked up Ballycastle (figuring it had to be in the North somewhere) and discovered it way up in the east.
What a beautiful poem this is and with its mention of Flanders it makes it even more poignant.

My grandmother was a Mary Ann, but what pray tell is "Yellow Man"?

You might like the poem I posted just today, since it features Northern Ireland folk.



Aine Mac Aodha /Ann Keys said...

Thanks for commenting Kat, yellowman is a type of sweet rock like honeybomb.

buy adobe photoshop cs5 said...

The topic is pretty complicated for a beginner… But thank you, a very interesting note!