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Life in the Community

Explore how rural and traditional Irish communities have celebrated seasonal festivals with traditional crafts and practices.


 
The yearly festivals celebrated the passage of time and are intimately associated with the annual routine of work. Elements of the festivals stretch back to antiquity and were closely associated with protecting the family and the farmstead from illness and harm. The festivals also focused upon sustainability of the land, the family and the community.
 
The first day of each season was known as a quarter day. Spring was marked by St. Brigid’s Day, 1st February; summer by Bealtaine, 1st May; autumn by Lúnasa, 1st August, and winter by Samhain, 1st November.
 
Many of the ceremonies associated with these quarterly days were celebrated on the eve of the festivals.
 
Spring

Spring

Traditional festivals and folklore relating to springtime in Ireland.

Summer

Summer

Read about May Day, Lunasa and other traditional summertime traditions.

Autumn

Autumn

Learn about Irish harvest traditions and folklore.

Winter

Winter

Explore traditions related to Samhain, Halloween and Christmas in Ireland.