Fans of folklore and fun are in for a treat this Halloween as Púca Festival returns, running from Friday 28 to Monday 31 October 2022.
Celebrating Ireland as the birthplace of Halloween, Púca is an authentic, immersive, and otherworldly festival. Vibrant, fun, and contemporary in feel but strongly rooted in tradition, Púca will take place in festival hubs Trim and Athboy in County Meath.
Working in partnership with Irish artists, seanchaí storytellers, and the local community, Púca will showcase the best in contemporary Irish music, spectacle and performance over three days and four nights in Ireland’s Ancient East.
In Irish and Celtic traditions, Samhain is the end of the harvest season, when all the crops have been picked and stored for the ‘New Year’. This was historically a time of celebration, involving lighting fires, feasting on the crops of the harvest, music, gathering, and storytelling. A familiar character in Ireland’s narrative of Halloween, Púca (pronounced poo-kuh) is a shape-shifting character from Celtic folklore that comes alive at ancient new year to roam the night and change the fortunes of those that cross it.
Four supernatural nights of music, comedy and Halloween spectacle will take place in the heritage town of Trim and its stunning castle grounds, including the ‘Arrival of the Spirits’ on Saturday 29 October to officially kick off the festival.
The Hill of Ward near Athboy is an important prehistoric site and hub of Halloween tradition. On Monday, 31 October, the ‘Coming of Samhain’ celebrations will take place in this major ceremonial enclosure, which was one of the earliest sites to host Samhain. It will be a spiritual and historical retelling of the original Halloween story, where the five ancient provinces of Ireland will be represented and symbolically reunited in flame.
Other highlights of the festival include high-profile contemporary acts in music, comedy, and performance. They will conspire over four stages in Trim and Athboy, named after the goddess of the Boyne, Boann, the goddess of war, Morrigan, the faerie of mischief, Fear Dearg and of course the main Púca stage, to entertain followers of folklore and legend.
As Samhain historically marked the end of the harvest season, Púca festival embraces the enormous wealth and quality of the local produce on its doorstep in the Boyne Valley. There will be opportunities to indulge in traditional barm brack, colcannon, baked apples and other local seasonal treats.
And immersive games and storytelling, including Banshee Bingo Hall, comedy witch trials, interactive games of werewolf, self-guided treasure hunts, and traditional handfasting ceremonies will help visitors get into the spirit of the festival.
Don’t miss this weekend of music, myth, food, folklore, fire, feasting and merriment in the country where Halloween began.