Fionn the Giant and the Sun

24 Jul

When we went to see the Giant’s Causeway, it was a thing of beauty. Both the landscape, and the myth that goes along with it represent the Irish culture extremely well because it dates back to before the island was split into two nations. The myth is that Fionn mac Cumhaill was challenged by the Scottish giant Benandonner to a fight. Fionn accepted and built the Giant’s Causeway across the North Channel so the two could meet. But after realizing that Benandonner was much bigger than he was Fionn backed out. This resulting in Fionn’s wife Una dressing him up as a baby and putting him in a cradle. When Benandonner saw this “baby” he figure that it was Fion’s son, and that if the baby was this big than his father must be massive. In this Benandonner grew frightened and ran back to Scotland destroying the Causeway so that Fionn could not follow him back to Scotland. This myth came about because the Pagan religion started to disappear. Pagan heroes began to transform into giants as the myths were passed along and this speaks volumes of the culture in Ireland.

Giants Causeway

As Ireland “became more catholic than the pope” the Pagan roots remained. The Celtic cross that is still widely known and used today even has Pagan tradition. The circle that is on the top of the cross is a representation from when the sun was still being worshiped for everything revolves around the sun. In this the Pagans realized that the sun was of upmost importance and worshiped it. So this representation of the sun, once the country switched to Catholicism, was kept alive I’m guessing so that people would identify more with the religion and offer less resistance to the change. Mythology remains a big part of the Irish culture because the settles of the island can be traced back so far.

Giants Causeway

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