Daltai na Gaeilge
Proverbs

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Seacht seachtaine ramhra ó Shamhain go Nollaig.

Seven fat weeks from Samhain to Christmas.

Note: It is ironic how this seanfhocal could mark a period using both Christian and Druid feast days. Samhain is one of the four fire festivals in the Druid calendar, marking the end of the year. Halloween originated from it. Christmas marks the beginning of the life of Jesus Christ.

Also ironic is the application of this seanfhocal to both an agrarian past and an urban present. These seven weeks would be considered fat to the ancient Irish farmer because they follow the harvest time. These seven weeks would be considered fat to the urban present because it is the season of good food, good drink, and good company. Two out of the last three of these are rich in calories. Go on a binge now and go on a diet in the New Year.

Forgive us, but the editor can not go another week without mentioning Irish grammar. (It has been four weeks since our last syntactic discourse.) Note that this week's seanfhocal has an exception to the rule for counting things in the Irish language. Usually, when counting things in Irish you use the nominative singular form of the noun, e.g., cúig mhadra (five dogs), naoi gcapall (nine horses), where English uses the plural form. The word seachtain, however, like other words for time, e.g., bliain (year), uair (hour, time), is an exception, e.g., seacht seachtaine, trí bliana, ceithre uaire.

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