Well, simply put, the Púca Festival
is an ancient pagan celebration of Samhain,
which marks the beginning of winter on the island of Ireland. This festival takes place in locations across County Meath
every year from 27 – 31 October.
The festival itself is inspired by Irish folklore. Evidence gathered from archaeological digs, myths, legends and Celtic history proves that this type of celebration has been practised for centuries, and it happens at the time of year when light turns to darkness and the veil between our world and the next is said to be at its thinnest.
The Celts believed that this was when evil spirits could come through to our world, so people dressed up in costumes to disguise themselves from these spirits – a custom that is still very popular today at the Púca Festival and around the world at Halloween time. And as for the festival name? Well, it’s named after one of these evil spirits, the Púca – a mysterious, shape-shifting creature said to change the fortunes of anyone who meets it.
So that’s the background, but the main thing you need to know is that in October, all the fun happens in the County Meath
towns of Trim and Athboy in Ireland’s Ancient East.
The festival takes place across two historic locations: The Hill of Ward, which was the site of the first Samhain gathering where the ancient Irish lit a fire from which all fires on the island of Ireland were rekindled, and the ruins of Trim Castle,
Ireland’s largest Anglo-Norman fortress.
There’s a large variety of events taking place across this five-day festival, including spooky storytelling, comedians, shows and tribute bands. Check the events programme
ahead of time so you don’t miss out on anything.
Some events will run daily from 28 – 31 October, including the Samhain Circus, Beyond the Veil – A Púca Trail
and Hill of Ward tours.
What are our Community’s favourite Samhain traditions?