|Mythology and Folklore of the Hazel Tree|
Hazelnuts were believed to give wisdom and inspiration by the Celts. This probably explains the similarity between the Gaelic word for nut, ‘cno’ and the word for wisdom, ‘cnocach’.
In Irish folklore special hazel trees grew around a sacred pool, dropping their nuts into the water and were the food for sacred salmon which absorbed the wisdom and gave them the now familiar spots on their flesh.
A Druid teacher, in his quest to become omniscient, caught one of these salmon from the pool and asked a student to cook the fish but not to eat it. While cooking hot liquid from the fish splashed onto the pupil's thumb, which he naturally sucked to relieve the pain, and absorbed the fish's wisdom. The boy was called Fionn Mac Cumhail and went on to become one of the most heroic leaders in Gaelic mythology.