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Affordable and fun guiding throughout Northern Ireland

Well what a year it has been for Hawthorn bloom!  The hedgerows are awash with this white blossom - is this a good omen!  Caught this picture today however most of the blossom has been out for a while and most of the bossom is now blowing in the wind like confetti.

You may know The Hawthorn by a different name, The May Tree, The Beltaine Tree, The May Blossom, The Whitethorn, The Quick and more.  In Irish it is Sceach Gael but we also know it as the Faerie Tree for it is said to guard the entrance to the faerie realm and it is still considered bad luck to harm one.

Many superstitions surround the Hawthorn:-

During birth if a calf is born prematurely hanging its afterbirth on a Hawthorn tree was said to magically protect it and give it quick growth (one of the other names given to the Hawthorn is Quickset as it will take very easily as a cutting).

The Hawthorn has long been associated with fertility and at Beltaine (May 1st) young women would take a sprig of blossom and keep it close as a way of attracting a husband.

The Hawthorn is also known as a tree of protection and for this reason it will be found growing near a house.  It will offer protection from storm and lightning.

Using the blossoms for decorations outside was allowed, but there is a very strong taboo against bring hawthorn into the house.  Across Ireland there still is the belief today that bringing hawthorn blossom into the house would be followed by illness and death.

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Barbara Ferguson
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Northern Ireland Guided Tours
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Markethill
Co. Armagh
BT60 1SH
Northern Ireland

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