Monday 14 October 2019

Bonfires, Celtic music and Shamanic stories at festival

Wicker Man and other pagan characters at Loftus Hall
Wicker Man and other pagan characters at Loftus Hall

David Looby

A Bealtaine Festival of Fire will take place in the grounds of Loftus Hall on the Hook Peninsula on Saturday, May 5 and Sunday, May 6.

This free festival will recreate many of the Celtic rituals that played an important role during Bealtaine, such as the building of a giant Wicker God, worshipping the Queen of the May, a celebration of the marriage of the God Lugh (the sun God) and the Goddess Aine (Goddess of the Land), dressing the May bush and the blessing of the cows.

Visitors to the two-day festival will also have an opportunity to explore Loftus Hall's recently restored five-acre walled gardens.

Loftus Hall owner Aidan Quigley said he is looking forward to bringing this new festival to the area.

'The premise of the festival is to revisit and explore the cultures and traditions that were of huge significance to the pagan Celts. Bonfires will be lit and cows will be led between the fires to purify them and shield them from disease. Baya, a trained Shamanic healer, storyteller and a Priestess of Elen will recount and share the customs of our ancestors,' Aidan said.

Other family-friendly events taking place throughout Loftus Hall's Festival of Fire include artisan craft making stalls, blacksmith workshops, celtic music and dance, and traditional feast and fayre. Visitors to the festival are encouraged to dress up in costume and take part in the May Queen competition and the May bush making workshops. Visit or call 051 397728 for more information.

Wexford People