Tailtiu Shrine

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In Irish mythology, Tailtiu (pronounced tal-chuh) was the foster-mother of the god Lugh. Her name meant “The Great One of the Earth”. She died of exhaustion after clearing land for farming in what is now known as county Meath. Thereafter, every August, Lugh held funeral games in her honor. These funeral games (and fairs) became known as Lughnasadh; “the assembly of Lugh”. An older name for this holiday is Bron Trogain; “Lamentation of the Earth”.

Tailtiu Shrine

“Great en the fair wood was cut down by her,
roots and all, out of the ground,
before the year’s end it became Bregmag,
it became a plain blossoming with clover.
Her heart burst in her body
from the strain beneath her royal vest;
not wholesome, truly, is a face like the coal,
for the sake of woods or pride of timber.

Long was the sorrow, long the weariness of Tailtiu,
in sickness after heavy toil;
the men of the island of Erin
to whom she was in bondage
came to receive her last behest.
She told them in her sickness
(feeble she was but not speechless)
that they should hold funeral games to lament her
– zealous the deed .”
-from the Metrical Dindshenchas

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