Gàidhlig / English


Posted by Kate on Thursday 27th October
The week’s phrase was recorded in South Uist. The Caora-chàraidh was a healthy, fat sheep which was given to the laird on Hallowe’en.
It’s perhaps not surprising then, that fuarag (or crannachan, as some people may know it) would be the treat of choice, if cream was scarce during the months after Samhain. Folk enjoyed eating barely gruel at Hallowe’en in a basin until they bit into a ring, a penny or thimble which had been mixed in. This mouthful, however, would bring good fortune to that particular person. Another famous and rather unusual way to make fuarag was in the heel of your shoe. This is what a number of heroes in different stories did before taking part in different battles in our history. You can read more of one such story in the Carmina Gadelica. This is the most famous rhyme this hero recited about, according to a scholar:
“Is math an còcaire an t-acras,
Is mairg a dhèanadh tàire air a’ bhiadh,
Fuarag eòrna à sàile mo bhròige,
Am biadh na b’ fheàrr a fhuair mi riamh.”

“Hunger is a good cook,
Fall foul those who scorn food,
Cold barley gruel from the heel of my shoe,
The finest meal I’ve ever had.”

You will find the beannachd Samhna, or Samhain Blessing in Corpas na Gàidhlig, which the people recited in order to protect the cattle. The good-man, and good-woman would walk around the cattle fold, carrying a pot with a fire inside. If you are searching for a rhyme in order to mark Hallowe’en, perhaps you might like to use such a song as this:
If you have any unusual Hallowe’en practices, we would really like to hear from you. Please get in touch below, or on Facebook or Twitter.
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