Today I'm delighted to share our monthly Irish tree planting giveaway. For October we're celebrating the Celtic festival of Samhain or Halloween, and the good folks at Irishtrees.ie have graciously sponsored another tree planting giveaway for one lucky reader to win.
But before I share the details of our October tree giveaway, lets first explore the significance of trees for the ancient Celts at Halloween.
Rowan Trees and the Ancinet Celts
Trees were important to the ancient Celts and in the autumn months they harvested rowan berries.
They believed these berries could impart protection from evil spirits. Plus they were said to endow good health on those who ate them.
The Celts planted rowan trees near graves. They believed these trees provided shelter and would help the dead to sleep.
They created dowsing rods from rowan branches, and when Christianity came to Ireland they created crosses from rowan twigs to ward off evil spirits.
Hazle Trees in Autumn
Hazel trees were also considered sacred by the ancient Celts. These trees were prized for their nuts and branches.
Hazlenuts were used to foretell romance and divine the future at Halloween.
Necklaces of hazlenuts were often worn for protection by the Celts. Strands of these nuts were hung in homes to bring good luck to those who dwelled in the house.
Young Celtic women often carried hazlenuts to help protect and promote their fertility over the coming year..
Elder Trees at Halloween
The elder tree is another woody plant the Celts believed had the ability to ward off witches and evil spirits. Branches of the elder tree were hung over doors to offer protection on All Hallows’ Eve.
The Celts lit bonfires to celebrate Samhain, but they never burned the wood of an elder tree in their fires. They feared this practice might invite death or malevolent spirits.
It was deemed unlucky to cut down an elder tree, which was prized for the medicinal properties of its flowers and berries.
In Ireland in days gone by, cradles were often built from elder wood. These trees were also planted around meadows where cattle would graze to help shield them.
An elder tree was often planted near homes to help protect them from lightening.
Musical instruments made with the wood of an elder were said to be magical and mystical, and were even believed to have the power to summon the spirits.
In Scotland, another Celtic nation, it was believed that if you stood under an elder tree on All Hallow's Eve or Halloween, you could witness the fairies on their merry way.
These three trees, the rowan, elder and hazel, were associated with the holiday of Halloween.
I hope linking them to this time of year will help make your Halloween a little richer.
Why not join in our tree planting giveaway to celebrate your Irish heritage and the importance of these seasonal plants and trees in our ancient Celtic traditons?
September Tree Planting Winner
In September one lucky reader, Stephanie won a commemorative tree planting in Ireland.
A native Irish oak tree was planted in her honor and she received a beautiful certificate to mark the occasion.
Here's a little feedback from Stephanie about the experience:
"I am thrilled to be the winner of the tree planting competition. My paternal grandmother's grandparents came from Ireland, arriving in the U.S. in the late 1840s. So I am happy to have a bit of Ireland back in the family as I am very interested in history, and quite pleased at the thought that the Irish Oak might live for 400 years!!
In fact, I would like to dedicate the tree to my Irish ancestors, the McCourts and the Foleys. I am so pleased to have it and will soon have it framed for my home office. Thank you again for providing this opportunity!"
Irish Tree Planting October Giveaway
Once again we are offering a reader of Irish American Mom the chance to win a commemorative tree planting in Ireland.
All you have to do to enter is finish this sentence.
"The planting of an Oak tree in Ireland is a lovely gift at Halloween because......."
You can add your comment below. You can check out the terms and conditions for giveaways on this page here.
All entries received by the closing date will be in the draw and will be randomly picked.
The draw will take place on Saturday, November 6th, 2021 and the winner will be announced at the end of this blog post.
The winner will be notified and will be introduced to Bob Hamilton, Owner of www.irishtrees.ie to arrange their personal Irish Oak Tree Planting and Certificate.
IrishTrees.ie offer tree planting and dedication for every conceivable occasion from the birth of a child to 100th birthdays, just ask.
Thanks for supporting this little giveaway.
UPDATE - WINNER CHOSEN
Our winner has been randomly chosen using the Pick Giveaway Winner Plug-in for WordPress.
And the lucky reader is ….
I’ll send an email to arrange mailing of her prize. A big thank you to everyone for supporting this giveaway by leaving comments.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading each and every comment.
Additional Tree Planting Commemorations This Week
This week two readers of Irish American Mom shared their great losses with us through the comments on this post.
Bob Hamilton of Irish Trees has graciously offered two additional tree plantings to help commemorate loved ones lost .
Kathleen Falls' grandmother, who passed away last week will be remembered through the planting of an oak tree in Ireland.
Kathy Hall's friend Corene McGovern will also be remembered by planting a tree in Ireland in her memory.
I will contact both of these ladies to let them know.
Many thanks to Bob for his generosity and to everyone who shared such personal, and poignant stories about those they hold dear.
Slán agus beannacht,
(Goodbye and blessings)