Féile na Bealtaine is a special weekend in Dingle and the largest arts festival held on the Dingle Peninsula. Held over the May Bank Holiday weekend it is a celebration of the arrival of summer, celebrating the Celtic festival of Bealtaine. Traditionally in Ireland the year was divided in two and celebrated with the feasts of Bealtaine (May) and Samhain (November). v
The festival weekend a magical weekend here with months of community preparation culminating in a packed line up of Music, Poetry, Drama and Arts events as well as the headline Parade on the Sunday. Over the years all of my children have been involved in the Féile weekend, first starting out in the parade along with other local school children who have spent months preparing their costumes and props. The day of the parade the town is full of marching bands, marching children and proud parents.
Each year has a different theme and it is a weekend full of Dingle Magic and a reminder of the depths of history and culture that still lives and breaths on the Peninsula. Dingle has a spiritual draw which continues to this day to attract and inspire creativity in writers, musicians, poets, philosophers, dancers, artists and artisans.
This year’s festival was an outdoor exhibition around Dingle for the locals by the locals. It might not be the normal Féile na Bealtaine festival but it still had that strong community spirit. The first two are masks made by our own:
Fliodhais - goddess of deer and cattle. She features most prominently in Táin Bó Fliodhais and Táin Bó Culainge. She is sometimes considered the Irish Artemis. Mask by Caitlin
Brigid - the goddess of fire, healing, poetry and water. One of the Tuatha Dé Danann. She is associated with the festival Imbolg. Mask by Isabel
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