Torch lit procession from the Fair Green in Athboy, Co. Meath to the Hill of Tlachtga on October 31st.
Assembly from 7pm, procession will depart at 7:30pm.
The Celtic ceremony at Tlachtga has been revived, mixing the ancient past and
the twenty-first century with a re-enactment of the Celtic celebration starting
with a torch lit procession from the Fair Green in Athboy, Co. Meath to the top
of the Hill of Tlachtga.
Assembly on the Fairgreen in Athboy, Co. Meath from 7pm.
There the Festival will open with guest speakers and the procession
will depart at 7:30pm. The journey is approximately 1.5km up to the site of Tlachtga
where the fires will be lit and the pageantry will take place.
The walk is just 25 minutes but the procession is usually a bit longer,
up to 45 minutes with a stop along the way to hear from the Lady of the Well.
It is a wonderfully ambient journey with fires lit by residents, tea lights
and fire pits adding to the atmosphere. You are welcome to bring your own torch,
lantern or storm lamp to light your way and add to the enchantment
Samhain, the ancient Celtic Festival that we now call
Halloween, originated at
Tlachtga (Hill of Ward) more than 2,000 years ago. Samhain marks
the end of the old Celtic Year and the beginning of the New Year. The Celts
believed that this was a time of transition, when the veil between our world and
the next came down, and the spirits of all who had died since the last Oíche
Shamhna (Night of Samhain) moved on to the next life.
One of the main spiritual centres of the ancient Celts was located on top of the
hill of Tlachtga, now called the
Hill of Ward, near Athboy, Co. Meath. The
druids felt that this world and the otherworld were closest at Tlachtga
and it was here that the festival of Samhain, or Halloween, was started. The old
year’s fires were extinguished and, after sunset, the ceremonial New Year
Samhain fire was lit here. Torches were lit from this sacred fire and
carried to seven other hills around the county including
Loughcrew, and then on to
light up the whole countryside.
The Irish and Scottish Celts who travelled to America, brought their traditions
with them and popularised Halloween – it is now the second biggest festival in
the western world.
Tlachtga (Hill of Ward) Samhain Fire Festival 2015
Pick up and return to your accommodation or cruise ship. Suggested day tour:
Newgrange World Heritage site, 10th century High Crosses at Monasterboice,
Hill of Tara the seat of the High Kings of Ireland, Bective Abbey and Trim Castle the largest Norman castle in Ireland