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Féilte agus Laethanta Saoire agus Ócáidí Speisialta i Mí Feabhra Posted by on Feb 11, 2012 in Irish Language

(le Róislín)

For a relatively short month, February is sure packed full of holidays.  Here are some dates and some themes.  Can you match them up?  Since writing the dates in the standard “orduimhir” form would lessen the “dúshlán,”  I’ve written them out in full and the key to the numbers is given below, with the freagraí.  The numbers themselves are sequential, but the themes are not (le haghaidh an dúshláin).  The dates given with years are the ones which change from year to year.

BTW, the holidays referenced here are a mixture of ones that are idirnáisiúnta, Éireannach, or Meiriceánach.  I’m sure the list could be extended infinitely, but these are some of the ones I’m most familiar with:

1. an chéad lá de mhí Feabhra

2. an dara (dóú) lá de mhí Feabhra

3. an tríú lá de mhí Feabhra (i Meiriceá amháin, fad m’eolais)

4. an cúigiú lá de mhí Feabhra, 2012 (i Meiriceá)

5. an ceathrú lá déag de mhí Feabhra

6. an fichiú lá de mhí Feabhra (i Meiriceá)

7. an t-aonú lá is fiche de mhí Feabhra, 2012

8. an dara (dóú) lá is fiche de mhí Feabhra, 2012

Na roghanna: a. beoir agus bia cóisire, b. luaithreach, c. cairéidí, d. croí, e. taoschnónna (“Fastnachtskuchenle bheith beacht), f. uachtarán, g. coinneal, h. cros luachra


1. an 1ú lá de mhí Feabhra, h. cros luachra (cross of rushes, do Lá Fhéile Bríde)

2. an 2ú lá de mhí Feabhra, g. coinneal (candle, for Lá Fhéile Muire na gCoinneal, Candlemas)

3. an 3ú lá de mhí Feabhra, c. cairéidí (National Carrot Day)

4. an 5ú lá de mhí Feabhra, a. beoir agus bia cóisire (don Sárbhabhla)

5. an 14ú lá de mhí Feabhra, d. croí (do Lá Vailintín)

6. an 20ú lá de mhí Feabhra, f. Uachtarán (Lá na nUachtarán, i Meiriceá)

7. an 21ú lá de mhí Feabhra, e. taoschnónna [TEESS-KHNOH-nuh] for Fastnachtstag

8. an 22ú lá de mhí Feabhra, b. luaithreach (Céadaoin an Luaithrigh, Ash Wednesday)

Cúpla nóta faoi na dátaí thuas:

An tríú lá de mhí Feabhra, i Meiriceá, National Carrot Day:  there are actually two words for “carrot” in Irish.  The more traditional one is “meacan dearg” but the more widely used one is “cairéad” (plural: cairéid or cairéidí, the latter has a double-plural ending, not unusual these days).  As for National Carrot Day, I only know it as an American event, and a fairly recent one at that, but World Carrot Museum (músaem fíorúil is ea é) in the UK is working towards a World Carrot Day, planned for December (tuilleadh eolais air sin:  Mh’anam, now that I’m looking into it, I see there’s also International Carrot Day in April (bunaithe sa bhliain 2003;  There’s never an end to iontais umbalacha (umbelliferous wonders), is there?

An cúigiú lá de mhí Feabhra, i Meiriceá, an “Sárbhabhla” (the Superbowl).  Although I still see no official designation of this in Irish dictionaries, “Sárbhabhla” is a reasonable translation of the term and has been in use, beagáinín ar a laghad, on the Internet, since 2004.  It’s another compound word, consisting of  “sár-“ (super-) + babhla (bowl).  “Babhla” is lenited after the prefix, becoming “bhabhla,” so the whole word is pronounced “SAWR-WOW-luh.”

An t-aonú lá is fiche de mhí Feabhra, Fastnachtskuchen (Fasnachtskuchen, Fastnachts, Fosnots, Fosnaughts, etc.)  i nGearmáinis agus i nGearmáinis Pennsylvania.  These potato-based, yeast-raised, deep-fried donuts are traditionally served on “Fastnacht” (aka Máirt Inide, Mardi Gras, or Shrove Tuesday) to “finish the fats” before Lent.  The fastnacht-style donut differs from regular ones in having a “chamfered edge,” possible since they are traditionally cut into diamonds or rectangles, not round.  I’ve found at least two derivations for the German word “Fastnacht,” one is “chamfering night” (referring to the way the donuts are cut) and the other is “the night before the fast” (referring to Lenten abstinence).  Whichever derivation is most accurate, by association, the word “Fastnacht” has become the name of the food associated with the day.  In German communities in the U.S., at least, it seems the “-kuche” ending has been widely dropped and the tasty treats are referred to as “Fastnachts” or the other names given above.  Pancóga typically serve the same lard-laden larder-raiding function in Ireland, Britain, and other parts of the U.S., in advance of An Carghas (Lent), hence the name “Pancake Tuesday.”

There is a final note of interest for an naoú lá is fiche de mhí Feabhra.  “Leap year” is “bliain bhisigh” [BLEE-in VISH-ee] with the word ‘biseach” lenited (b becoming bh) and the ending changed for the genitive case.  For “lá bisigh” (leap day),  “biseach” still has the genitive ending (-igh), but it has no lenition because “” is a masculine noun, whereas “bliain” is feminine.

Bhuel sin é don bhlag seo.  Tá súil agam gur bhain tú sult as an gcur síos seo ar laethanta speisialta mhí Feabhra.  SGF, Róislín

Má tá tú ag iarraidh tuilleadh eolais faoi Lá Náisiúnta na gCairéidí:

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