May On Our Doorstep - Celebration of traditional May Day Customs in Ireland
This is a collaborative project between the Country Life Museum and the Linenhall Arts Centre and is primarily a celebration of traditional May Day customs in Ireland.
As part of this event we are inviting people to share their memories of May Days Past through an online form. We are also conducting a national survey which aims to find out how and where people are still ‘welcoming the summer’ in the 21st century.
Full details about this project and the survey forms are available on www.ouririshheritage.org
‘As in much of northern Europe, May Day in Ireland, was a celebration and welcome of the summer. Here, it is rooted in the pre-Christian festival of Bealtaine. Bealtaine embraces the summer, bidding farewell to the dark winter half of the year. Flowers, dancing, and bonfires featured strongly in the festivities. People also sought protection for themselves, their homes and livestock against supernatural forces...Traditions associated with May include May Bushes, May Flowers, May Boughs, May Poles and May Bonfires. All are associated with luck and protection.’
Clodagh Doyle, Curator Irish Folklife Division