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fairy wind


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A sudden gust or blast of wind, or whirlwind, was thought in Ireland to have been caused by fairies. Several Irish phrases describe it: sídh/sí gaoithe, sídh/sí chóra, gaoth sídhe/sí, séideán sídhe/sí. The wind was sometimes thought to be caused by the passing of a fairy host; alternately, the wind may contain the host. Pious farm people would cross themselves when they saw the wind coming, as they were daunted to see a column of hay rise at one end of the meadow while the wind at the other end was perfectly still. Sometimes the wind was thought to be evidence that fairies were helping in farm labour. At other times the wind was thought to be the source of sudden illness. The fairy wind will rip the roof off a poor family's house and let the fairy host in, will protect fairy treasure from thieves, will silence mortal musicians playing fairy music, and can cause injury to humans or animals, especially the eyes.

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