The Flame of Samhain Festival - Wednesday 31st October 2018
- 18:00-18:50 Gathering on the Fair Green in Athboy.
- 19:00-21:00 Procession To Tlachtga (Hill of Ward).
- 21:30 Return to Athboy.
Tlachtga (the Hill of Ward) was at Samhain night the centre of the Gaelic world.
The place from which the light of the new year would first emanate.
The origin of all Irish culture ripples out from earthen mounds at Tlachtga
and spreads all across the world. In modern times, we call this time of year Halloween.
On this Samhain night, as part of the Spirits of Meath Halloween Festival,
we welcome you to continue the ancient ritual of Samhain atop the ancient hill,
at the centre of the world, where the story of Halloween was born.
We will gather in Athboy's Fair Green from 6pm. Here there will be free Celtic
facepainting to prepare you for your journey to the centre of the world. The procession up to the hill at 7pm.
, the ancient Celtic Festival that we now call
, originated at
Tlachtga (Hill of Ward) more than 2,000 years ago. Samhain marks
the end of the old Celtic Year and the beginning of the New Year. The Celts
believed that this was a time of transition, when the veil between our world and
the next came down, and the spirits of all who had died since the last Oíche
Shamhna (Night of Samhain) moved on to the next life.
One of the main spiritual centres of the ancient Celts was located on top of the
hill of Tlachtga, now called the
Hill of Ward
, near Athboy, Co. Meath. The
druids felt that this world and the otherworld were closest at Tlachtga
and it was here that the festival of Samhain, or Halloween, was started. The old
year's fires were extinguished and, after sunset, the ceremonial New Year
Samhain fire was lit here. Torches were lit from this sacred fire and
carried to seven other hills around the county including
, and then on to
light up the whole countryside.
The Irish and Scottish Celts who travelled to America, brought their traditions
with them and popularised Halloween – it is now the second biggest festival in
the western world.
Boyne Valley Private Day Tour
Immerse yourself in the rich heritage and culture of the Boyne Valley with our full-day private tours.
Visit Newgrange World Heritage site, explore the Hill of Slane, where Saint Patrick famously lit the Paschal fire.
Discover the Hill of Tara, the ancient seat of power for the High Kings of Ireland.