There are plenty of things we can make and do as part of our festive decorations, and some of these things can help form a focus of our devotions, while others can help set the scene. These activities can be a good way to get children involved in the festivities, but they are also perfect for the individual, regardless of age or ability.
While many of these activities traditionally employ the use of materials like rushes or straw, you don’t have to be a stickler for tradition to be “authentic” here. Many of these traditions are still observed today and have evolved to make use of whichever materials are handy; a cros Bríde or Parshall cross can be made from lollipop sticks and wool instead of rushes, while the dealbh Bríde can be made using a doll-making kit or an old plastic dolly decorated specially for the occasion, instead of straw, for example.
We’re also including some less traditional crafts and activities here, which can be great for decorations or festive centrepieces, if you like.
Oíche Shamhna / Samhainn / Sauin
Lá Fhéile Bríde / Là Fhèill Brìghde / Laa’l Breeshey
Cros Bríde: Slideshow Tutorial (Brighid’s cross)
Cros Bríde: Tairis (three-armed ‘triskele’ type)
Cros Bríde: Static Page (four-armed ‘swastika’ type)
Cros Bríde: Video
Dealbh Bride / Brídeóg (Icon of Brìde doll)
Woolly Sheep Decorations
Lá Bealtaine / Bealltainn / Laa Boaldyn
Lá Lúnasa / Lùnastal / Laa Luanys
A large part of our everyday practices as Gaelic Polytheists involves developing and maintaining a good relationship with the land and the spirits around us. This bioregional focus includes not just making offerings to them, but can also incorporate activities like making our immediate surroundings a haven for local plantlife and wildlife. This can range from simple things like going organic in the garden, to concentrating on growing plants that encourage bees, butterflies and insects, as well as providing shelters for them. Even if you don’t have a garden of your own, you can always try putting out bird food to attract smaller garden birds, or perhaps make an effort to keep your local environment free of rubbish and anything else that can prove harmful to wildlife by doing litter-picks.
Here are some suggestions for things to make and do for your local environment: