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Beannachtaí an tSéasúir (BAN-ock-tee on Tay-zure) - Season's Greetings
The most common response to this would be: "Nollaig Mhaith Chugat"
If one were to wish someone a "Happy New Year," he or she would say:
"Athbhliain faoi Mhaise Duit"
And if one were to be addressing two or more other persons, he or she would say:
Just as in English, the two expressions are often combined to say Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year as follows:
Nollaig Shona agus Athbhliain faoi Mhaise Duit.
Le gach dea-ghui i gcomhair na nollag agus na h-ath bhliana! (With Best Wishes for Christmas and the New Year!)
The plural of this would be:
For every greeting above, the common response is:
If you have tried to learn these phrases in Irish, and all earnest attempts have failed, just try the universal greeting...lift a pint, thrust it forward in the internationally accepted toast, and you will be a hit in any language. (Especially if you buy the house a round.)
For more Holiday Irish words and phrases, please click Holiday Irish.
Note: Letter groups that are capitalized indicate the stressed syllables. There has also been much debate as to whether Shona is pronounced with the sh sound or said as hona. As we understand it, much depends on what part of Ireland you are in.
The idols of Boa Island
Boa is at the lower end of Lough Erne in Co. Fermanagh. Here, in the ancient Caldragh cemetery are two pre-Christian stone figures - the Janus statue and a smaller statue, the Lusty Man. Shown is the more famous of the two - a double-sided figure of two beings carved back-to-back. Interestingly, this type of figure is often referred to when the calendar year has just turned and we are glancing back even as we move forward. Also, the month of January is named after Janus, the Roman god of doors and gates. Often flowers and coins are left at the base of both statues - perhaps for good luck in the new year? Speculation as to what the idols represent continues.
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March 4, 2011
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