Who Was Cuchulainn In Celtic Mythology and Why Was Cú Chulainn Called the Hound of Culan?

Cuchulainn is Ireland’s greatest Celtic hero.

When he was born, it was prophesied that he would live a glorious but short life.

His father was Lugh, the god of light. As a young boy, Cuchulainn demonstrated his power and strength by killing an enormous hound with his bare hands, thus earning him his name, the Hound of Culan.

Later, Cuchulainn roared into combat for the first time and experienced a horrible transformation.

One eye disappeared into his skull; the other eye bulged and turned a grotesque red color. His jaw swelled until he could easily fit a man’s head into his mouth.

A halo, blood red in color, surrounded his head.

He howled so loudly that spirits living underground and in the hills joined him.

After slaughtering many enemies in ferocious battle, it took three vats of cold water to cool him down and return him to normal.

The Celtic hero Cuchulainn is portrayed in a 1913 drawing by artist John Duncan.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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