Lughnasadh part 1 - Bilberry Sunday & Garlands

stories of engagement through berries and flowers
 ... next session Sunday 24th July 2022

about this afternoon session ...

Bilberry Sunday and Garland Sunday are celebrated in various places of Ireland, almost as if they are separate to Lunasadh.

The custom of Bilberry Sunday almost vanished as the spread of sitka spruce tree plantations wiped out very abundant bilberry bush areas among the heather. Now, after many of these tree plantations have been felled, and not replaced, the bilberry bushes are naturally returning to us again, and so are the new generation of foragers looking for health and sustainability rather than essential income, or young romance.

With Garland Sunday, now a totally different tradition to what it once was, we may think of the dog shows, baby shows, and field and track sports shared on this day. But during this Nature Folklore session I will share a few stories of Garland Sunday's origins that I have picked up along the way ...

Both the earlier traditions of Bilberry Sunday and Garland Sunday had connections to fertility and care for upcoming newborns, and I will tell how these events were revered. 

I will also tell of land fertility and gratitude rituals that were acted out by some interesting mythical characters. I will also include some origins to the mountain pilgrimages such as the Croagh Patrick climb. 

I will also include my own childhood experiences of bilberry picking as a child during the 50s when bilberries were still an essential income for some people, and some of the remarkable health nutrition benefits from eating these berries, including some differences between our bilberries and the incredibly popular blueberries 

Also, for this Sunday, do you have any poems, stories, and experiences about and related to Bilberry Picking, Garland Sunday, garlands, or just what you do and experience during the end of July in summer? I would love to invite you to share your stories and poems as a guest, either live, pre-recorded, or use photographs. Please message me with what you have to share. Thank you. 

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