Sidhe Fae


The following is a description of the Sidhe Fae ritual in Ireland. My friend first heard the tradition from his parents, specifically his dad who is Irish. I have known this friend since elementary school. I knew that he had heard many stories about where his parents are from so I asked him to tell me about a few of them. I recorded this over the phone as he was very busy and couldn’t find a time to meet up (also COVID). This is a direct transcribed script of what was said in the story, with the various “umm’s” and “uhh’s” omitted.


“Okay so I’m probably going to butcher the pronunciation of this, but this is kinda like a story, not so much a story as it is important to Irish history. More like Celtic and Gaelic stuff. So basically there’s this thing called See-uh-duh-fae, Sidhe Fae, and they’re kinda like these burial mounds. This was a pretty big religious ceremony back in Ireland, and Celtic and Gaelic stuff. It’s a religious ceremony for burials. And they’re commonly referred to like an afterlife transitioning thing. And it’s, it’s kind of like their way of honoring the dead a little bit, in that… what am I thinking of, in that there is different versions of the ritual depending on what you did in life. Like a lot of Celtic and… mainly Celtic stuff back then referred to dying in combat being super honorable and like farmers and what you did in life represents where you’ll be at in the afterlife. Kind of like a Valhalla thing. So they had these ceremonies and they would have different ceremonies that would represent what the person did in life. And at the end of the ceremony they would always wish the best for the person to be granted access into Valhalla. Or I don’t know if Valhalla is specifically it but they would always ask and pray. So basically they would ask like ‘hey, please give this person the best in the afterlife.’ 


Hearing this tradition from Ireland from my friend was interesting because I have never heard that much about Irish traditions or anything about Irish religion. The burial ritual (pronounced she-fay) was a pretty simple thing compared to other cultures’ burial rituals, but still maintained the same level of importance. This type of ritual is one that revolves around the life cycle, specifically death. What I thought was especially interesting was the different rituals depending on what kind of life the person lived. I wonder what kind of ritual was performed for criminals versus for great heroes. I also wonder if they still wished the best for literally every person that was buried there. The Celts had reach in a lot of Europe, so I would imagine that these rituals worked their way into many different types of households, not just those in Ireland. Though the Celtic people did leave a large impression on Ireland so it makes sense that my friend learned this from his Irish father.