It’s a big week for things Scottish in the Baltimore/DC area

A chairidean chóir,

This is a week you can immerse yourself in all things Scottish.  First, this Thursday (25 January) you can attend one of the warmest, most intimate Burns Nights you’ll come across and celebrate the life of the ¨Ploughman Poet” in Baltimore’s most authentic Irish pub.

Then, on Saturday (27 January) gather in an Alexandria, Virginia Irish pub to enjoy readings and songs of some of Scotland’s greatest Gaelic poets,once again in a warm, intimate environment.  For this one, space is very limited and nearly full.  Contact the group very soon.

In the end you’ll have traversed the Scots and Gaelic language cultures of Scotland, and felt you were welcomed with great hospitality.

Slàinte mhòr agus a h-uile beannachd dhuibh.

7th Annual Burns

7th Annual Burns Night at O’Flynn’s in Baltimore

Thursday, 25 January, 2018
7:00 PM – 10:00 PM

O´Flynn´s Crab & Cask House
3432 South Hanover Street
Baltimore, MD 21225

Join us as we celebrate the 7th Annual Scottish Dinner as we celebrate the ¨Ploughman Poet¨ of Scotland, Robert Burns.

The evening´s events include Piping In & Address of the Haggis, a four-course meal featuring a Kale Waldorf Salad, Cock-a-leekie Soup, Haggis, Neeps and Tatties with Arran Whisky Cream Sauce, Raspberry Cranachan. Enjoy llive Traditional Music and lots of awkward poetry reading.

Special guest performances by Aaron Halevy and Sean Alexander Gearhart.

Featuring Innis & Gunn from Scotland:
Enjoy the unique bourbon ageing process of our featured Innis and Gunn with flavours like vanilla and toffee with the malty characted of the Scotch Ale to create an incredible taste experience.

Buy tickets here.


Oidhche nam Bard header

Oidhche nam Bàrd: Gaelic Poetry Night

Sponsored by
Gàidhlig Photomac (The Potomac Scottish Gaelic Society)

Saturday, 27 January 2018
5:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Daniel O’Connell’s Irish Restaurant and Bar
112 King St, Alexandria, Virginia 22314

For our first big event of the new year, we’ll celebrate some of the works of Scotland’s great Gaelic poets, enjoying readings and songs in a relaxed atmosphere with appropriate food and libations at Daniel O’Connell’s in Old Town Alexandria! This event will be appropriate for learners at all levels — and those just interested in Gaelic language and culture.

We’ll start at 5 pm with drinks and a welcome, and follow at 5:30 with a brief conversational Gaelic lesson. At 6 pm we’ll order supper, and at 6:15 begin our poetry program. We’ll introduce to you to six poets, from the middle ages to the present day. Some of our members want to share poetry with you. And we’ll have songs and music and, at the end, a toast to ALL the bàrds.

With limited space in the Fitzgerald Room, attendance is limited to 20 people, so sign up here or at our Meetup.com page. Any questions? Contact Liam at willbcassidy@gmail.com.

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C`eilidh na Callainne (New Year’s Céilidh) – 21 January

Ceud_Mile_Failte_5146156edd04a

Sunday, January 21 at 3 PM – 6 PM
Ó Flynn’s
3432 S. Hanover Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21225

Join us for for our C`eilidh na Callainne (New Year’s Céilidh) We will have some home made Haggis by Liam Flynn (and other delicious food), hear about the history of the Haggis dish and it’s complicated relationship to the G`aidhealtachd and the Galldachd in Scotland, learn a traditional New Year’s song and the Gaelic version of Auld Lang Syne, and more – all in the warm, convivial environment of Baltimore’s Best Irish bar, Ó Flynn’s.

Aig a’ chèilidh (At the céilidh)

Gaelic Immersion session – Build your Gaelic through conversation

The Haggis Story

Sharing of songs, stories, music, and poetry – Learn some songs as we sing together and bring your own tunes, poems, stories or songs to share (in Gaelic or otherwise).

Chì sinn uile aig a’ chèilidh sibh! (We’ll see you all at the cèilidh)
Suas Leis a’ Ghàidhlig!

 

Bliadhna Mhath Ùr dhuibh uile! (& Join us for Gaelic in 2018!)

Bliadhna Mhath Ùr dhuibh uile! – Happy New Year to you all!
And Happy Hogmanay!

Below are scenes from Hogmanay around Scotland from previous years for you to enjoy. May all your fires burn brightly throughout the year.

Am bi sibh a’ dèanamh amas air Gàidhlig ionnsachadh sa Bhliadhna Ùr 2018?  Thigibh ann cuide ruinn!  (Will you make a resolution to study Gaelic in the New Year 2018? Join us!)  Click here for learning opportunities.

Something to think about: Scottish customs of the new year contain messages that can be relevant to how we think about entering 2018. While bonfires celebrate the lengthening of daylight and thus the “return” of the sun, in our own lives, we can use fire to call forth the light and passion within each of us, calling us to be our best selves in the months to come. By our own candles or fires, we can decide what goals for spiritual and personal growth we will set for ourselves, and link ourselves to our heritage and ancestors.

Hogmanay piper

And even the ancient custom of first footing – the belief that a tall, dark, handsome stranger coming to your door the first thing after midnight of the New Year brings good fortune to the household. The idea of first footing is that the first person who comes through your door indicates the character of your New Year. On the one hand, by offering hospitality to the visitor you begin your year with a generosity of spirit. On the other hand, we can  consciously choose what we admit through the front door, then open that door with great intention and greet it!

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A typical Baltimore Gaelic School céilidh and class:

Happy Hogmanay - 1

Winter greetings to all

Scottish winter - 2
Geamhradh Brèagha, Nollaig Chrìdheil agus
Bliadhna Mhath Ùr air a h-uile duine
 
(A Beautiful Winter, a Merry Christmas, and
a Happy New Year to everyone)
Guma math a dh’éireas dhuibh le Bliadhna Ùir
agus a bhith blàth fad a’ gheamhraidh.
Slàinte mhòr agus a h-uile beannachd dhuibh.

Had a great time at Cèilidh Oidhche Shamhna – Hold the date for the next cèilidh on 17 December

Yesterday Gaelic learners gathered at O’Flynn’s in Baltimore City for our autumn cèilidh.  Given the time of year, the theme was Oidhche Shamhna – Halloween, the end of summer, the eve of November, the eve of winter.

Sgoil Ghàidhlig Bhaile an Taigh Mhóir teacher, Scott Morrison, led a fascinating discussion around the Gaelic Fairy tradition.  Do you know your Fairy lore?

Two participants recited the first two verses of the poem Air Oidhche na Samhna bidh ann, after which Scott recited many more verses with everyone chanting the chorus. Originally a wauking song, probably from the late 19th century, The poem is filled with Scottish Oidhche Shamhna traditions.

If you want to take a crack at it, here is the poem: Air Oidhche na Samhna bidh ann.docx

Or, for something simpler, this fun book, Oidhche Shamhna, that one of our classes is reading.  It was written and illustrated by young school children in the Hebrides in the 1980s: Oidhche Shamhna

Everyone shared stories of their ancestors, funny and serious, and we learned a lot of new things about each others while honoring those who walked those long roads of our heritage.

We were in a bar, so why not play cards?  For instance, this group below in a game of Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) Uno.

Uno - 1

And then the sharing of songs and poetry.  Below you can hear one of the participants, Duncan, singing Cànan nan Gàidheal, written by Murchadh MacPharlain. It’s only a portion of the song, the quality isn’t great, and music from another part of the pub was coming through, but you can still hear what a beautiful voice this young man has.

We need to thank Liam Flynn for creating such an ideal Irish pub as O’Flynn’s, his hospitality in making the pub a home to many Celtic groups, and his commitment to Gaelic.

Everyone!

Mark the 17th of December on your calendars
and join us for our next cèilidh, again, at O’Flynn’s.

Tha sinn a’ dèanamh fiughar gus am faic mi sibh uile!
(We are looking forward to seeing all of you!)

Completely new to learning Gaelic? Our new beginner class is for you

cum gaidhligbeo

Sgoil Ghàidhlig Bhaile an Taigh Mhóir is excited to announce a new online class in Scottish Gaelic for complete beginners.  As the existing class of beginner learners has moved on to a more advanced beginner status we found the need to re-establish a class starting from step one that would address the needs of the newest learners joining our community as well as some just returning to study.  The new class will also be taught by our teacher, Scott Morrison.

As with our other online classes, we are currently using Skype.  Participation requires that students have a Skype alias and a microphone on their computer.  Your Skype alias will have to be provided before your first class.

Also,as with our other classes, the text we are using in the new class is Teach Yourself: Complete Gaelic, by Boyd Robertson and Iain Taylor, supplemented with lessons from Taic.

The fee for the class is also the same: $10 per class, with tuition payments made in increments of $30 (3 classes).

Classes are every two weeks on Friday afternoons, 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm.

For complete information on classes go to the Class Schedule page.

To register, or for more information contact: Richard Gwynallen at richard.gwynallen@gmail.com

Join us for our autumn céilidh – 29 October

Cèilidh Oidhche Shamhna

Sunday, 29 October
DiDòmhnaich, 29mh An Dàmhair
3:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Tri uairean feasgar – Sia uairean feasgar
O’Flynn’s
3432 S. Hanover Street, Baltimore, Maryland

 

Autumn on the Chesapeake Bay - 2

Autumn on the Chesapeake Bay

Tha am foghar ann a bheireas an samhradh gu crìch agus a dh’fhosglas an geamhradh. (The autumn is here which brings the summer to an end and opens the winter.)

A new year in the Celtic calendar is upon us, and we are gathering with song, story, food, and drink to welcome Oidhche Shamhna (Halloween/Eve of November) in the warm, convivial environment of Baltimore’s Best Irish bar.

Thigibh ann cuide ruinn! (Join us!)

Celtic knotwork - 2

Aig a’ chèilidh (At the céilidh)

  • Gaelic Immersion session – Build your Gaelic through conversation
  • The Gaelic Fairy Tradition – A presentation and discussion by Scott MacIlleMhoire (Morrison) on the lore, origins, and lessons of the Fairy tradition among the Gaels.  What could be better as we approach Oidhche Shamhna and the veil between the worlds is thinnest?
  • Sharing of songs, stories, music, and poetry  – Learn some songs as we sing together and bring your own tunes, poems, stories or songs to share (in Gaelic or otherwise).  Some will reflect the time of year and the Gaelic traditions of the season.

Our céilidhean are rooted in the traditional Highland céilidh as an intimate, informal gathering where stories, poems, songs, news, and more are shared; good food and drink are partaken of (a guarantee with the O’Flynn’s kitchen); and the craic is always good.

If you are interested in Gaelic culture and language, we would love for you to come.  You do not have to be a participant in any of our study groups (though you are very welcome to join).  We will be practicing our Gaelic, but everyone will feel comfortable, whether you have any Gaelic or not.

Please RSVP to richard.gwynallen@gmail.com

Chì sinn uile aig a’ chèilidh sibh! (We’ll see you all at the cèilidh)

Oidhche Shamhna Shona Dhuibh
Happy Halloween to you all
Celtic Pumpkin - 1