|From:||Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, November 3, 2004, 19:40|
On Tuesday, November 2, 2004, at 05:11 , Thomas Leigh wrote:
>> ----- Original Message -----
>>> I knew about this pronunciation. Would someone help me (us) with
>>> pronunciation of the other three: Beltane, Imbolc and Lughnassadh?
>> Beltane is actually an Anglicisation of "Bealtaine"
>> pronounced /bjOlhi:ni/ = "May".
> What dialect of IG is that? Is it really pronounced with a lenited t?
But AFAIK the English word is not directly derived from Irish Gaelic in
> In SG it's spelt Bealltainn (older: Bealltuinn), pronounced
> /bjawl_d_0t_d@J/ or /bEwl_d_0t_d@J/.
Yep - that's what I understood also. The English Beltane (1st May) is
surely from the Scots Gaelic, and it is one of the old four quarter-days
of Scotland; the other three were: Lammas (1st Aug. <-- Old Eng.
_hlámmæsse_ <-- _hláfmæsse_ "loaf feast"), Hallowmas (1st Nov.) &
Candlemas (2nd feb.).
Lammas & Candlemas remain quarter days; the other two are now, I believe,
Whitsunday and Martinmas (11th Nov).
> I've read that the "Beall"-/"Bel"-
> part of the name is supposedly the name of an old God whose name in
> Latinized form was Belus,
It's even been associated by some with Baal - but few take that seriously.
> and that the "-tain(n)" part is a development
> of the word for "fire" (mod. SG "teine"), so the name means "Belus'
> fire" and refers to the big bonfires which were traditionally lit at
> night on the eve of May 1
I understood it meant simply "bright fire"
> "Imbolc" is not a modern Gaelic name; it violates the rules of both IG
> and SG orthography.
It does, doesn't it? I wonder where it does come from?
On Tuesday, November 2, 2004, at 11:25 , John Cowan wrote:
> Wikipedia claims that it's < _i mbolg_ 'out of the belly' and refers
> in some way to pregnant ewes. An alternative name is Oimelc, which is at
> least good OG for 'sheep's milk'.
Is 'imbolg' or 'imbolc' actually attested in any ancient texts?
> In any case, it's Candlemas = St. Brigid's day = Groundhog Day = 1
...which as we know is the 2nd Feb. :)
> This is a subject thoroughly imbued with "the fabulous Celtic
> twilight [...] not so much of the gods as of the reason":
Indeed - I am sure you are right. Is there any hard and fast evidence, for
example, that the Brittonic group ever celebrated these festivals? The
quarter days of the southern part of the island certainly follow a
different tradition, namely:
Lady Day (25 March, the Annunciation), Midsummer Day (24th June, St. John
the Baptist), Michaelmas (29th September, St Michael & all angels),
Christmas (25th Dec. Midwinter, Yule).
To add to the fun, both "New Style" - with the dates given above - and
"Old Style" (following the Julian Calendar) quarters days are observed for
different purposes. The financial year, for example, begins with the Old
Style Lady Day, now the 6th April, since until we adopted the New Style
calender in 1752 Lady Day was also "New Year's Day". Rather boringly ever
since then New year's Day has been Jan. 1st.
Yes, he gives a IE derivation of Imbolc, but there is still as far as I
see no actual quoting of source material. I assume it must be lifted from
Old Irish/Old Gaelic - but when & where? Or is it really born out of the
twilight of reason? ;)
Anything is possible in the fabulous Celtic twilight,
which is not so much a twilight of the gods
as of the reason." [JRRT, "English and Welsh" ]