UISNEACH FIRE FESTIVAL
Ireland’s most ancient recorded Bealtaine celebration on the Hill of Uisneach will this year be alive and welcoming with the sights and sounds of the changing season on the May bank holiday weekend, Saturday, May 02 (2pm – 11:30pm).
Fire as a symbol of re-birth and awakening has been long associated with the site and this year’s ceremonial fire parade will be the centre piece of the day long celebration which will also feature, artisan foods and crafts, holistic healing, a spoken word tent, re-enactments including the Uisneach Warriors and guided heritage walks. The family friendly theme is being further developed through a recreation of a traditional children’s Uisneach Games. Music will be provided by friends of the Hill including The Mairtin O Connor Band, Mary Coughlin, and Moxie, plus very Special Guests.
Our ancestors on Bealtaine (May time), lit a fire on the Hill to mark the coming of summer. The lighting of the Uisneach fire was the signal for igniting fires on many hills across the whole island creating a unique fire eye with Uisneach being the pupil. Located between Athlone and Mullingar, County Westmeath, the Hill of Uisneach has been occupied for over 5000 years, pre-dating the first Egyptian pyramid at Djoser by 1000 years. The current owners David and Angela Clarke are the promoters of this years celebration. David said recently “Uisneach is unique with a global resonance, it is markedly different to any other heritage destination I see around me in Ireland. Although I’m first and foremost a farmer I want to see the site ‘open up’ over the coming years … this genuinely memorable celebration gives us the opportunity to welcome new and old friends.”
Among the many old friends is Manchán Magan, broadcaster and journalist, who reflects upon the festival.“The Uisneach Fire Festival is once again re-igniting that old spark, something ancient, something buried within us, a willingness to reach back and reconnect with our past, with who we are, our land, language, and culture.” The Uisneach Fire Festival has no equal on the national festivals and events calendar.
Uisneach, the mythological and sacred centre of Ireland, is one of the five Irish Royal Sites likely to seek UNESCO World Heritage Status recognition. Guided public and private tours provided by the dedicated Uisneach guides are available during the spring and summer months with full information on http://www.uisneach.ie.
The Uisneach celebration is built on the sound environmental principals of Leave No Trace. Due to the special heritage nature of the site tickets are limited and only available through http://www.uisneach.ie from 25e (U-12yrs go free). Early booking is recommended.
For all trader and volunteer enquiries contact firstname.lastname@example.org
For art installation enquiries contact email@example.com
Nature of workshop/demonstration Length of Demo/workshop Location on site
Maypole workshop 2 40 minute workshops On hilltop in front of faery trees
Hemp rope making workshop, skipping and heritage crafts. Through the day In front of faery trees
Pole Lathe demo Throughout the day In front of faery trees
Face painting and Balloon modelling 3 hours during the day 15:00-18:00 In family area
Brehon Law Academy Info stand In front of Faery trees
Faery Tailer Decorated Faery Den In Faery trees
Qi Gong 1 hour class Holistic Area
Yoga class Classes throughout the day Holistic Area
Guided Meditation 40minute workshop Holistic Area
Kids Meditation 40 minute workshop Holistic Area
Celtic Bard: Harp/poetry 1 hour Holistic Area
Kids drama workshop Two : 45 minute drama workshops (children 6-12) One : 40 minute spiritual meditation In Family area, open to any times that suit.