Bid to revive the old tradition of Frocken Sunday
Following the success of The Wexford May Bush Festival across the county in recent years, Ballindaggin couple Michael Fortune and Aileen Lambert are keen to revive another time-honoured tradition - Frocken Sunday, or Mountain Sunday as it was known in certain parts of the county.
A frocken is a little bilberry that grows on the frocken bush on the hills of Co Wexford. The 'frocken' spelling is particular to many of us here in Wexford and is derived from the Irish word fraughan.
Many older people around the county from Carrigbyrne to White Mountain to Carraigrue will remember gathering on the last Sunday of July and walking up to the hills to pick these frockens to eat and to sport and play.
'The date is one of our pivotal Celtic calendar dates in Ireland, coinciding with the start of Autumn (the 1st of August) and the Lughnasa festival,' Michael explains.
'In Ballygarrett where I grew up, there were no frockens, however the Patron day in nearby Donaghmore was built upon the Lughnasa celebrations of feasting and many older locals, including my own mother and grandmother would always feast on new potatoes on that day.'
And so, the campaign to restore Frocken Sunday to the calendar begins and families and community groups are being asked to get together and host their own Frocken Sunday walk this Sunday, July 28.
'Luckily most of the tracks and paths to our hills are open to the public so it's great incentive to get out and stretch the legs and keep a tradition going at the same time,' Michael said.
'There is no set-time or start point - just go in your own time with your family and friends and find and pick a few little wild frockens and enjoy the moment and the start of the harvest.'
Those interested in taking part can visit the Frocken Sunday Wexford Facebook page and people are asked to submit their photos of their walks. For more info, call Michael or Aileen on 087 6470247.