The Threshold of Plenty: Harvest Customs in Irish Tradition

The podcast Blúiríní Béaloidis / Folklore Fragments aims to explore aspects of Irish (and broader European) folk tradition across an array of different subject areas and topics, in order that we might come to know and honour the customs, wisdom, nobility and artistry of our forebears and ancestors. Drawing from various archival sources including sound recordings, manuscripts and old books, we aim to familiarise listeners with the depth and richness of our traditional cultural inheritance; believing that a knowledge and understanding of our past might better inform our present, and should aim to guide our future.

bb05-with-text-01This month’s edition of the Blúiríní Béaloidis / Folklore Fragments podcast focuses on the arrival of the harvest, which was for our forebears a time of great celebration, as it marked the point at which the lean months of June and ‘Hungry July’ (when the year’s stores were traditionally at their lowest), gave way to a period of profusion and plenty. Join us as we take to the fields then, to discuss hilltop celebrations, contests of athletics and strength, naked horse-swimming races and the spirit of the crops itself, which appears all over Europe in the form of a female nature spirit known broadly as the ‘Corn Mother’, as well as being symbolically represented by several animals.

Now is come the harvest season, let us enjoy and partake of its fruits, and give thanks to the earth from which they have sprung; the earth to which we return harvest after harvest, generation after generation, unceasingly, and without end.

The podcast can be downloaded from iTunes store, or at this Soundcloud page.