General Industry

Bunratty To Celebrate Ancient Pagan Festival Of Imbolc

By Robert McHugh
Bunratty To Celebrate Ancient Pagan Festival Of Imbolc

Bunratty Castle and Folk Park will be celebrating Imbolc, the ancient pagan festival marking the beginning of spring, on 4 February.

At the event, Bunratty Castle and Folk Park will showcase the crafts, traditions, animals and customs that characterise the season, while the ‘Imbolc Celebration’ will also mark St Brigid’s Day.

‘Beginning Of Spring’

“Imbolc represents the midpoint between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox and has been celebrated in this country since ancient times,” said Marie Brennan, events manager at Bunratty Castle and Folk Park.

“We look forward to marking the beginning of spring in style by inviting the local community and the wider public to join us for a fun-filled and educational day out.”

Bean An Tís

Visitors will be able to learn how to make St Brigid’s cross, and Bunratty’s experienced bean an tís will guide the public through the traditional craft, demonstrating the process of weaving straw or rushes into the distinctive cross shape.


A variety of native Irish animals from Droimeann cattle to Irish Wolfhounds and from Irish red deer to Tamworth pigs will be on display as part of the visitor attraction’s ongoing work to increase awareness of native Irish breeds and how they have formed part of Ireland’s social and cultural history down through the centuries.

Wolfhound Society Of Ireland

Members of the Wolfhound Society of Ireland will be present on the day, with opportunities for the public to engage with them and discover more about one of Ireland’s most celebrated indigenous canine breeds.

Basket-maker Michael Foudy will demonstrate the time-honoured tradition of making traditional-style baskets using locally sourced materials, such as hazel and willow.

The bean an tís will also be on hand throughout the day to demonstrate the art of traditional butter-making at the Golden Vale Farmhouse.

Children’s Entertainment

Additionally, the festival will feature the Clare Vintage Engine and Tractor Club, which will showcase an array of vintage agricultural machinery at work, including corn grinders, water pumps, and a mini threshing machine.


There also will be children’s entertainment throughout the 26-acre folk park, including resident seanchaí Mickey Joe, who will recall tales of bygone days and traditional ways preserved over the centuries at Corry’s Pub on the village street.

Meanwhile, Konor the Clown will be performing magic, juggling and music in the Corn Barn at various intervals throughout the day.