1. The Banshee
Sometimes she would be a beautiful young woman, sometimes an old woman dressed in rugs. She carried with her the omen of death and every time she made a cry, death would follow.
This was a mythical being set on bringing destruction to the human kind. Sometimes he would destroy fences in rural Ireland, sometimes he would carry away people and sometimes he would sink ships.
3. The Changelings
These were deformed creatures that 'almost' looked like people. They were exchanged with beautiful human babies. They were only happy when grief and destruction happened wherever they lived.
4. The myth of Dagda's Harp
This was a harp owned by a priest. It had magical powers. One day, a tribe came and took the priest (Dagda) captive. He called on his harp and started playing and every one was crying. He played again and the soldiers started laughing. Once more he played and everyone fell into deep slumber. Thus Dagda escaped his captives....
5. They myth of the children of Lir
Lir, the lord of the sea got married and his wife bore 4 children. As fate would have it, the wife died and he married his sister in law, Aoife. Now Aoife was jealous of her sister’s children and decided to get rid of them. So she took them to the lake and as they swam, she cast a spell on them, turning them into swans. The only way the swans could become beings again was through hearing the church bells. They remained swans for many years until 900 years later, St. Patrick's came to Ireland and constructed a church with bells...thus, the spell was lifted.
6. The legend of St. Patrick
St. Patrick was sold as a slave to Ireland. He would later be released and return to his native England. After becoming a priest, he returned to the land of his captors and converted a lot of people to Christianity till his death. The preacher would be consequently forgotten until monks started telling stories of how he sent away all snakes from Ireland. This was a feat he could not have pulled because there never were snakes in Ireland. It is too cold for the cold blooded reptiles.
7. The myth surrounding shamrock
This is a three-leafed plant found allover Ireland. St. Patrick used it to teach the holy trinity. Christians still believe that the plant is divine. The Celtics believed it that 3 is a sacred number while the Druids believed that it had power to ward off evil.
8. The myth of Finn McCool's Thumb
Finn McCool is a mythical Irish warrior. One day, he learnt of a secret. A certain salmon had all the knowledge of the world. He wanted that knowledge for himself. He caught the fish and started cooking it. As he was cooking it, some soup splashed out and burnt his thumb. He sucked on the thumb to stop the pain. As he sucked, he gained all the knowledge of the world. Now every time he sucked on the thumb, the knowledge would come outpouring.
9. The Faeries
Like most fairies, these took the human form. They were so beautiful and irresistible. Unfortunately, they loved to cause misfortune and grief to the people.
10. The Leprechauns
Legend has it that the leprechauns used to collect gold and hide it at the end of the rainbow. If a human happened to catch one, the leprechaun would have to grant him three wishes before his release.
I told you...the Irish have a healthy imagination. Lucky for the rest of us, we get the chance to read about their myths.
by Kennedy Runo on 03/20/2015 in Cultural Exchanges