Salmon is one of the favorite fishes of all times. Salmon flesh is generally orange to red, this fish plays a significant role in American and Japanese cuisine. Salmon is also considered as sacred fish by the Celtic people. In various mythologies, salmon is believed to be the Fish of Knowledge. One of the popular mentions is Celtic Poetry.
Boyhood Deeds of Fionn Legend
Long Ago in Ireland, there were kings ruling the land. The Kings had certain mighty hunters and warriors called Fianna of Erinn. These mighty hunters posed great land, wealth, and weapons and lived in outdoor in the woods where deer and wolf ranged. Fianna’s chased these wolves with their great dogs and hunted the animals.
Fianna was ruled by one Chief Cumhal, under his rule, one clan named sons of Morna rose as rebels. The rebels fought Cumhal in the battle of Cnucha, today known as Castleknock near the city of the hurdle ford. Goll Son of Morna here slew Cumhal and took away the treasure bag of Fianna, this treasure bag was made from a crane’s skin, Having many great jewels, magical weapons. This bag was then handed over to Lia the chief of Luachar in Connacht.
Cumhal’s wife Murna bore two sons, the elder was named Tulcha and younger was Demna. The elder Son Tulcha fled in fear of Goll and took shelter with the king of Scotland. Demna, the younger son was born after Cumhal’s death, fearing that he would be killed too Murna gave him to Drudiness to be taken away and raise him.
Drudiness took him to the woods on Slieve Bloom Mountains and trained him in hunting and using weapons. Drudiness raise the boy Strong and mighty. The boy could outrun a hare in speed, kill a duck with his Slingshot. Drudiness taught him everything about him, his race, his right to be the chief of Fianna of Erinn.
One day while the boy roamed in the woods, he came across a mansion where the sons of the Chiefs of Ireland were playing. On seeing Demna the sons of chief invited him to play. Demna won easily, then the boys divided giving very few player in Demna’s side but he won each time defeating all the boys by himself. The anger and jealousy amongst boys grew and instead of being a sport started to hurl Demna with their clubs and weapons. Demna alone fought them and defeated them single-handedly. The boys ran to their fathers and narrated the incident. The boys said, “It was a tall shapely fair one, so the name “Finn” or the Fair one clung to him and he is known by that name this day.
Finn gathered many friends who loved him for his strength, valor, and kindness. Finn’s friends accompanied him everywhere Finn went. Goll the slayer of Cumhal and now the Chief of Fianna was hearing about the glories of Finn.
Drudiness when she heard that Goll’s men were looking for Finn, she asked Finn to go to Connacht. In Connacht Cumhal’s brother and other warriors who survived built hiding in the woods. Finn journeyed with some friends to this hiding to meet Crimmal.
While Finn was on his way to see Crimmal, He saw a woman who seeing Finn cried and told Finn that her only son Glonda was slain by Lord of Luchar. Finn then took the woman and went to confront the Lord of Luchar. Luchar disrespected Finn and fought with Finn and his men. Finn and his men killed the Lord of Luchar and his men and recovered the bag with treasures.
Finn then came to see Crimmal and gave him the treasure bag. Finn told Crimmal that he was there to avenge his father’s death. Crimmal told Finn that Murna Finn’s mother wedded Gleor, Lord of Lamrigh, in the south and she is safe from the sons of Morna.
Finn was not qualified yet to rule Fianna until he had perfected in wisdom and learning. He went to Finegas to learn wisdom and poetry, who dwelt by the river Boyne near the Village of Slane. There was a reason why Finegas made this riverbed as his dwelling.
There was an old prophecy that a salmon of knowledge lived in the river Boyne, and one who eats it becomes the wisest of all. This salmon was called Finntan from the ancient times and was one of the immortals, even if he has been eaten, he would still live. Finegas had been trying to see the salmon from seven long years until Finn came to be Finegas disciple. Finn caught the salmon. Finegas gave the salmon to Finn to cook and told him not to eat even a bit of it. Finn when came with the fish his eyes became very wise. Finegas suspected that Finn had eaten the fish. Finn told Finegas that while cooking he had burned his thumb that he put in his mouth. Finegas then understood that the prophecy was made for Finn and he was the chosen one. Finegas asked Finn to eat the salmon and blessed him.
With Finegas, Finn learned the three things that make a poet, and they are Fire of Song, and Light of Knowledge, and the Art of Extempore Recitation.
Is salmon really fish of knowledge??
The human brain is majorly made of fatty acids. More than two-thirds of the brain is made of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an omega-3 fatty acid. DHA is like a bulletproof vest for brain cells, making up a majority of their cell membrane. The inability of this fatty acid can cause a multitude of disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, memory loss, and other neurological disorders. The omega-3 is also great for Heart and Bones.
Salmon is loaded with fatty acid and Omega-3. A 100-gram portion of salmon has 2.3 grams of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, while the same portion of wild salmon contains 2.6 grams. It is found that salmon helps to reduce depressive symptoms, protect fetal brain health during pregnancy, decrease anxiety, slow age-related memory loss and lower the risk of dementia.
Therefore, Salmon clearly qualifies as a Fish of knowledge that both mythically and scientifically.