Talk:Gaelic calendar

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Yamara 18:25, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

2004 posts[edit]

Why not fold January down to the end of the article and start at the New Year? --Phil 15:14, Mar 4, 2004 (UTC)

The New Year begins in Ireland on January 1 - Spring begins on Feb. 1. -- Gerry Lawless 21.08, Mar 4, 2004.

February and October are the two times in the year where you have equal night and day. According to Philo, a Levite Priest, who lived at the time of the New Testament, understood the word “equinox” to mean equal light and darkness which would put the beginning of the year in February. Philo writes,

THE SPECIAL LAWS, IV* Yonge's title, A Treatise on Circumcision.} XLII. (233) “Nature, therefore, has marked out those PERIODS IN EVERY YEAR, which are called the EQUINOXES, from the STATE OF THINGS WHICH EXIST AT THAT TIME, namely, the spring and the autumnal EQUINOX, with such DISTINCTNESS, that EVEN THE MOST ILLITERATE persons are aware of the EQUALITY which THEN EXISTS between the EXTENT of the DAYS and of the NIGHTS.”

WHO IS THE HEIR OF DIVINE THINGS XXIX. (146) “These things being thus previously sketched out, see now how God, dividing things in the middle, has divided them into equal portions according to all the ideas of equality which occur in the creation of the universe…. So, in the same manner, he had divided light from darkness, and day from night, and summer from winter, and autumn from spring; and so on. (147) Again, he has divided things so as to make his divisions equal in point of magnitude; such as the parallel cycles in heaven, and those which belong to the equinoxes both of spring and autumn, and those which belong to the winter and summer solstice. (148) Now the “divisions of time” are equal in point of length, the longest day being equal to the longest night, and the shortest day being equal to the shortest night, and the mean length of day to the mean length of night. And the equal magnitude of other days and nights appears to be indicated chiefly by the equinoxes. (149) From the spring equinox to the summer solstice, day receives an addition to its length, and night, on the other hand, submits to a diminution; until the longest day and the shortest night are both completed. And then after the summer solstice the sun, turning back again the same road, neither more quickly nor more slowly than he advanced, but always preserving the same difference in the same manner, having a constantly equal arrangement, proceeds on till the autumnal equinox; and then, having made day and night both equal,”

It is evident from Philo’s writings that at the time of the New Testament they understood the true equinox really meant equinox not equal 12 hours from sunrise to sunset. There are more quotes from Philo to support the above if anyone is interested my website is — Preceding unsigned comment added by Yhwhpeople (talkcontribs) 18:42, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

Philo and biblical references are irrelevant to the calendar of the Irish. Perhaps this comment belongs on a Greek or Hebrew calendar page.
Maybe it needs to be asked for once and for all: Every culture has their own calendar. Shouldn't it be OK to allow there to be an Irish calendar on Wikipedia? Just because Ireland's history has been dominated by 1000 years of invaders or churches doesn't mean they don't have the same right to be recognized in the world community. (Some remarks made here show that some people around the world think of it as if it were a suburb of England.)

for non Gaelic speakers[edit]

Would it be possibe to have an English gloss of the names of the days, months and seasons? It would be interesting to know what they mean. Inigo123 10:21, 9 October 2006 (UTC)

Have made a start by doing the days. -- Picapica 11:02, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

|Added religious seasons. -- Picapica

POI, It's Irish, not Gaelic. 11:11, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

First performance of Riverdance at Eurovision Song Contest as part of "Seasons"?[edit]

Casting your eye over the article, there is an introduction, then the first section is entitled "Seasons". However this section seems to be less about the description of seasons in the Irish Calendar and more a list of events that people believe have relevance to Irish history, from Bloody Sunday to "Bull of Pope Gregory XIII, for reform of calendar, issued at Rome" to "First performance of Riverdance at Eurovision Song Contest". Could this section be renamed? --mgaved 17:26, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

Alas, it's all been deleted. It would have been funny (and informative) to have a section for dates in Irish history, from the sublime to the ridiculous. However, every Wikipedia article I see on Ireland is censored to death, sometimes for reasons of politics or prejudice. Apparently it is still not free. Galliv (talk) 21:31, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

Relevance to Celtic history[edit]

This calendar seems to start as a discussion of celebrations and feast days. The year is then marked by a variety of dates during with no relevance to celebration or feast at all. More appropriate to be in a history of the Troubles since this is not purely Irish history. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:54, 26 September 2007 (UTC)


Seconding the above two comments. After the intro, this dissolves into a disjointed timeline of modern Ireland and a couple of basic Gaelic vocabulary lessons. It'd be much more useful to cover the history and development of the calendar, it's relationship to the Julian/Gregorian calendars, its significance in various religions (Christianity, Pre-Christian Celtic Religion, Neopaganism, etc) and their influence on it, the significance of the various holidays, it's importance in modern Irish thought, politics, etc. I'd do it myself, excepting I don't know much about it, and also I'm lazy. - (talk) 18:48, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

Separate calendar?[edit]

I'm not sure I see why the Irish Calendar is treated as separate from the Gregorian Calendar. It seems as though the date is the same in both calendars, as both the months and days are aligned exactly with one another. The only difference seems to be in the names of the months (which is true for any calendar used in areas with different languages) and in the arrangement of the seasons. I don't think that these two differences merit calling the Irish Calendar a separate calendar in the same way that, say, the Buddhist calendar or the Hebrew calendar are separate from the Gregorian calendar. Instead, this should be made into an article about the seasons, and the timeline should be a separate article altogether. Thoughts? --SameerKhan (talk) 18:35, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

Well, our seasons certainly start at different times. It would be an odd occurence for spring not to start on La 'le Bhríde/1 February every year. In school we always made the Brigid's cross for that time to mark the start of spring. Same with Lúnasa/1 Aug starting autumn and the harvest, and so forth. I only recently discovered that the British and American seasons start at a different time. (talk) 22:19, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

Irish holidays are unique to Ireland. The seasons differ. (By the way, there are many Buddhist calendars and variations in the Jewish holidays. It's helpful to have them all posted.) Galliv (talk) 22:00, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

Agreement with Above post[edit]

Yes- I'd argue that the Irish calendar is merely the Gregorian- since Ireland has always been historically close to Rome- thus iot woulod have been one of the first countries to adopt it. The article on the Gregorian calendar quite clearly states that it was adopted until 1603- where upon Catholics asked special permission to not appear disloyal to the Protestant English- still using the Julian calendar.

If Ireland was to have a unique Gaelic or Celtic calendar- wouldn't have been influenced by the greater populations of Celts/Gaels and hence greater cultural weight of the British mainland if not Gaul? I really don't notice anything especially distinguishing about it- and the list of Irish Historical events is clearly not related to the body topic. Maybe it just needs more research?Starstylers (talk) 18:18, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

I think you should clarify what you mean by this entity the "British mainland" before continuing, As far as I am aware, there is Britain, and there is Ireland. Ireland is the mainland for Irish people. Maybe you mean Britain's "mainland" is Britanny? (talk) 22:24, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

I was referring to the British mainland as the island home to England, Wales and Scotland. With regard Brittany- very likely the Gaulish Celts may have been an influence too. I think it could be a very interesting topic- but I think it needs more research to truly legitimize it as different. Starstylers (talk) 03:03, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

Northern Ireland[edit]

In Northern Ireland, the seasons do not follow the same pattern as those in the Republic. (e.g. Winter starts in December).

Given that fact, is it logical to include events which only apply to NI? (talk) 09:44, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

When did that start? Autumn still begins on 1 August for my family in Armagh, just as it did for all of the country when it was under British colonial rule. But I do appreciate where you are coming from and what you are trying to do. (talk) 03:04, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

What is this article supposed to be about?[edit]

This article is skirting the boundaries of silliness, and more than once sets up camp inside. I am Irish and have lived in Ireland since I was two years old, and it comes as news to me that the Irish calendar "centres the seasons around the solstices and equinoxes". As long as I have known, it starts on January 1 and ends on December 31. I notice too that the article doesn't provide any references whatsoever. Finally, what is the collective significance of any of this information, other than it is vaguely and sometimes very tenuously Ireland-related? It's basically nothing but a list of Trivia presented in chronological order. This is a candidate for deletion, if ever I saw one; it's a purely invented category. Lexo (talk) 02:08, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

Lexo, it is pointing out, among other things, that spring, summer, autumn and winter begin at different times of the year to the situation in America and Britain. What's wrong with that? Dunlavin Green (talk) 12:20, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

-- When it said 'centers around the seasons' I think it's referring to the fact that seasons in Ireland are different than elsewhere. For example, spring in Ireland is Feb, Mar, Apr, roughly centered around the equinox. As are our other seasons. This definitely needs to be mentioned somewhere in wikipedia. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:55, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

I didn't realise that any country had a formal definition of the seasons. What is the definition in the UK? Mooretwin (talk) 12:39, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
Check your Oxford English Dictionary because in my version, from 1997, it definitely differed from the seasons as they were known to me and presumably everybody around me when we were growing up, whether it was making the St Brigid's cross on the first day of spring (1 February/ Brigid's Day" or going out on Oíche Shamhna/ 31 October, the last day of autumn. I was genuinely surprised at that difference. But then I learnt that the English/Julian calendar differed from the Irish/Gregorian calendar until 1752 when the English adopted the Gregorian calendar so maybe expecting conformity in an imperfect world was my mistake. Dunlavin Green (talk) 19:19, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

I'm inclined to agree with most of the criticism of this article. It mentions the part where seasons are declared at different dates from US & UK, but that fact alone doesn't make it a seperate calendar. Then, the article preceeds to give Irish names for months and days of the week--but that doesn't belong here either! Why don't we throw in the Welsh names for comparison? (talk) 22:08, 21 December 2009 (UTC) ?22:08, 21 December 2009 (UTC) (talk) 22:08, 21 December 2009 (UTC) (talk) 22:08, 21 December 2009 (UTC) (talk) 22:08, 21 December 2009 (UTC) (talk) 22:08, 21 December 2009 (UTC) (talk) 22:08, 21 December 2009 (UTC) (talk) 22:08, 21 December 2009 (UTC)!

What would be the point of Welsh names on an Irish calendar? They have their own culture; they can have their own calendar. Galliv (talk) 21:23, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

What exactly is the "Irish calendar" and who uses it?[edit]

Well? The article doesn't say. Mooretwin (talk) 15:18, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

I suppose you could say it is an Irish cultural calendar. Its holidays and seasons are peculiar to Ireland: Lá Ḟéile Briġde, Lá Ḟéile Pádraig, for example. It shares some holidays with other places of Celtic origin, but the names (and possibly the origins) are Irish: Bealtaine, Lúnasa, Saṁhain, Nollaig. This may be something an Irish native takes for granted, but is helpful to have spelled out for outsiders.
Irish public holidays are unique to Ireland and the saints' days can be observed on different days from the Roman calendar (and with additional saints), just as the French and Breton calendars differ from the Roman calendar. The English, Scottish and Welsh may have different observances. They could have (and maybe already have) their own Wikipedia articles.
The Julian and Gregorian calendars are a different category, not being specific to an individual culture. Galliv (talk) 21:16, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

I found this article on the Irish calendar helpful, if a bit disorganized[edit]

From a non-Irish viewpoint, as a person with Irish ancestry who is trying to learn the language and culture, it is nice to have all the elements of the Irish calendar in one spot. It is helpful to both students of Irish history or just tourists. I would ask that this article not be deleted, but instead edited.

It may seem a bit messy to combine the historic Irish concept of time, days and seasons with the modern holidays, the Christian with the pagan, but again, having all the information together is convenient to the reader.

In the USA, we have a bizarre way of delineating the seasons of the year. I imagine the person who wrote this article was trying to explain the Irish calendar from a US perspective, hence the clumsy introduction (which definitely needs rewriting!). It's our seasons that are off, not the Irish.

For example, our winter just began on the solstice, Dec. 21, 2010. Any sane person knows that the shortest day is the depth of winter, not the beginning of it. The crocuses sprout and the trees bud in February, but our spring doesn't begin until Mar. 20 (really the beginning of the end of spring). There is a change in the weather at the beginning of August, but only the Irish and Chinese consider that the beginning of autumn. A solar agricultural calendar makes more sense.

I'd suggest organizing the article chronologically.

It seems pointless (and introduces anachronisms) to quibble about the concept of an Irish calendar from a modern political perspective. The calendar evolved at a time when there was no Britain, no Northern Ireland, just areas with their local tribes and constantly changing leadership and borders. (Someone made a comment about Philo of Alexandria, which is also irrelevant.) You could argue that since the world is shrinking, all cultures should be combined into a "Euro" calendar. This would be a disservice to all.

I'm familiar with the calendars of many cultures and it's helpful to have a Wikipedia entry for each so that, for example, I know the difference between the Tibetan, Chinese, Korean, Thai or Vietnamese new years. I don't see why the Irish calendar should be wiped out of existence on Wikipedia and would have to question why anyone would want that to happen.

Galliv (talk) 19:56, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

This calendar is in use now[edit]

This article assumes that thi refers to an ancient celtic calendar that is not used anymore.

As someone else mentioned, I am Irish, and as far as I knew everyone started Spring on the first of February, etc.

It should be mentioned in the article that this is the calendar that people know and use to this day in the republic of Ireland. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:19, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

starting point[edit]

What's the starting point for this kind of calendar? -- (talk) 17:13, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

Good point - see article now--Zymurgy (talk) 18:15, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

Scottish Gaelic[edit]

No mention of use in Scotland. Interestingly, some of the Scottish names are more Gaelic too...--MacRùsgail (talk) 18:55, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

Irish Calendar today, not just "Gaelic Calendar"[edit]

As many Irish people have mentioned above, the vast majority of Irish people still view spring as starting on St Brigid's Day/Lá Fhéile Bríde/1 February, summer as starting on Bealtaine/1 May, autumn starting on Lúnasa/1 August and winter starting on Samhain/1 November. Why, therefore, is this article treating it like this calendar is something merely confined to the past? (talk) 11:26, 17 March 2014 (UTC)

Please go ahead and fix it. I started some initial cleanup, but this needs additional rewriting and sourcing. - CorbieV 15:58, 26 August 2015 (UTC)