Festival of Lunasa

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Festival of Lunasa

Post by matthewmacnamara » Fri Jul 31, 2020 12:28 pm

Would any person know of places in Clare where people celebrated the Festival of Lunasa?
I never heard of it in Meelick,
a place from which the Irish language disappeared earlier than elsewhere.

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Re: Festival of Lunasa

Post by Sduddy » Sat Aug 01, 2020 9:58 am

Hi Matthew

Today is the 1st of August, or Lúnasa, and I suppose that is what prompted you to ask about the Festival of Lúnasa. But I’m not sure that there is any particular occasion during the month that we can trace back to “The Festival of Lunasa.” August was a time for gatherings of various sorts and I remember Sports days and Agricultural shows, especially the Horse Show in Ennis, but those were the kinds of activities that took place in the Summer months in many other countries and were not peculiar to Ireland. I think there have been attempts to revive some ancient celebrations, but it would be a mistake to confuse these with the original thing (whatever that consisted of) and I don’t think there has been any attempt in Clare to revive a festival of Lúnasa. Here is a good article on the Festival of Lúnasa: http://atriptoireland.com/2013/07/30/lunasa/

You mention the Irish language, or lack of it, in Co. Clare and this piece, “James Delargy and the Storymen of North Clare,” by Michael MacMahon, donated to clarelibary.ie, shows how very little native Irish language remained in Co. Clare by the 1930s. If you go to the last piece (on Seán MacMathúna) you will see that Seán mentions going to the sports in Fahanlunaghta in August 1938 – maybe that was a remnant of a Festival of Lúnasa – hopefully someone will tell us more: http://www.clarelibrary.ie/eolas/coclar ... _index.htm


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