Tips for Special Days:
The days of the week won't use the article if there's something
else to make the word definite:
Luan Cincíse (Whit Monday), Máirt na hInide (Shrove Tuesday), Céadaoin an
Luaithrigh (Ash Wednesday), Céadaoin an Bhraith (Spy Wednesday), Déardaoin
Deascabhála (Ascension Thursday), Déardaoin Mandála (Holy/Maundy Thursday),
Aoine an Chéasta (Good Friday), Domhnach Cásca (Easter Sunday)
Note - Cincís (Pentecost), Inid (Shrovetide), luathrach (ash), brath (feeling, perception), deascabháil (ascension), mandáil (maundy), céasadh (crucifixion), Cáisc (Easter, Passover)
We also don't use the article after words like "go" or "gach":
Fan ansin go Luan = Stay there until Monday
Tagann sé gach Domhnach = He comes every Sunday
Tips for months:
Meán Fómhair (September, ie middle of autumn)
Deireadh Fómhair (October, ie end of autumn)
Samhain (November) Mí na Samhna (the month of November)
Nollaig (December) Mí na Nollag (ie the month of Christmas)
note - meitheamh generically means middle month, so:
Meitheamh an tSamhraidh (mid-summer, June)
Meitheamh an Fhómhair (mid-autumn, September)
Mí Mheán an tSamhraidh (June)
Tips on seasons:
The seasons are:
an tEarrach (spring) an Samhradh (summer) an Fómhar (autumn) an Gheimhreadh (winter)
The Celtic year is divided into 2 halves - summer beginning on Bealtaine (May 1) and winter on Samhain (Nov 1). Midway through those halves there were the festivals of Imbolg (Feb 1) and Lúnasa (Aug 1).
Imbolg (earlier Oímelg) is only mentioned in early literature and is said to derive from an old word for "lactation", although the "bolg" part seems to indicate the swollen bellies of the animals. It was always associated with the birth of young animals, and has been Christianized into the feast of St Brighid, whose protection is invoked on farm animals nowadays. St Brighid's crosses are hung in cow-byres. A piece of cloth called "St Brighid's mantle" is hung outdoors overnight to gather dew, believing that Brighid touched it as she passed by and this would signify general agricultural prosperity.
Bealtaine (earlier Beltine) originally meant "bright fire", although I've seen various alternatives - the mouth of the fire (béal tine), the fire's of Bel (an ancient god). Bealtaine marked the beginning of good weather, sowing season, and the time when the prospective milk-yield became clear. Last bonfires were built (tine cnáimh - bonefire) to encourage the sunshine and the animals were "purified" by driving them between the fires.
Lúnasa (Lughnasa) was the feast of Lugh, god of arts and of the harvest.
Samhain marks the beginning of the dark season - shorter days, winter
weather, dying plants - and so was associated with the dead and the
otherworld. Midnight of Oíche Shamhna (Samhain Eve) was the time when
the path between this world & the next was open and spirits were free to
roam the earth. A fire was left burning on the hearth to warm the dead
ancestors who would congregate there. Masks were worn to prevent the dead
from recognizing the living and possibly taking them back to the otherworld
with them. The fairies move from their summer to their winter homes on
Oíche Shamhna. Samhain was Christianized to All Saint's Day, and Oíche
Shamhna made into All Hallow's Eve (Hallowe'en). ----- Brad Wilson.