Extinct creatures on the loose in Samhain street parade in Clonakilty

Samhain 1

Posted on: 5th October, 2017

Category: Arts & Entertainment

Contributor: West Cork People

In association with the Clonakilty Arts Centre, a newly formed art collective, Geata Arts, is planning to resurrect the ancient legends and myths of Samhain, bringing them out onto the streets of Clonakilty in an extravagant street parade leading to a dramatic fire performance and the burning of the Great Elk under the full moon on Saturday, November 4.

The ancient festival of Samhain, corresponding to modern day Hallowe’en, was one of the most important events on the Celtic calendar. It was the transition into the darker, colder months of the year and for a brief moment, a time when the dead and beings of other worlds would walk amongst the living

Samhain has a unique cultural significance in Ireland, but over the years has waned in importance, giving over to the mass appeal and commercialism of Hallowe’en. Geata Arts aims reinvigorate this tradition and remind people of the deeper significance of this time of the year.

Under the theme ‘Extinct Ireland’, the group will parade through the town in traditional masks and ancient costumes, accompanied by otherworldly animals and spirits. They will dance to the command of warrior rhythms and regal horns, celebrating the unique cultural heritage of our ancestors

“It’s amazing to feel the excitement grow as more and more people get involved and it really begins to take shape,” says Ronan McLoughlin, one of the local parade organisers.

There will be many events on the days either side of the parade too; from October 31 to November 6, keep an eye out for wandering performances, art installations, a Death Café, Fancy Dress Céilí and much more. The parade itself begins at 7pm at the archway by O’Donovan’s Hotel.

An important part of the festival will be the Shrine of Remembrance located in Spillers Lane – a woven willow structure that everyone is invited to visit and leave a message or offering to loved ones who have passed on or to witness what others have left.

There shall be an original Shadow Puppet Theatre production ‘The Cow, the Crow and the World Below’ telling a story of Samhain in the weeks leading up to the main event and as a prequel to the parade.

The group has quickly generated a massive amount of interest in the West Cork town. With over a hundred people scheduled to parade through the streets, Geata Arts has already demonstrated the desire in many to return to a traditional, non-commercial and more inclusive festival spirit.

This is a non-profit, collaborative community event so all support is very welcome. The group is looking for volunteers to take part in the parade and help with stewarding and also to assist throughout October with creating props and floats, making costumes etc.

Donations of materials for creation such as fabric, paint, wood, willow, feathers, natural materials, etc are all most welcome. Please bring them to the Clonakilty Arts Center or The Workshop.

Monetary donations are also welcome and can be made to Geata Arts C/O Clonakilty Credit Union.

Updates and final programme will be posted on the Samhain 17 event page on Facebook and the website – www.geataarts.org

For more information or to volunteer contact Mark on 083 4533241 or email samhain@geataarts.org.

“We can’t wait to see you at the Parade!”

Photo: ‘Artichoke’
by Mark Dougherty

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Bandon Walled Town Festival in looking for new ideas!
Would you like to get involved in the 2018 Festival?If you yourself would like to be involved in big or small way
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11th October, 2017  ·  

Submarines, American Sailors, and the Underwater War in Irish Waters, 1917-1918
by Dr John Borgonovo in The Parish Centre, Clonakilty
on Thursday Oct 26 2017 at 8.30 pm

In 1917, unrestricted submarine warfare by German U-boats brought the United States into WWI and created a crisis in Britain. To defeat the submarine menace, an American naval fleet was dispatched to County Cork, bringing about 10,000 sailors with it. This talk will explain the circumstances of this extraordinary event, and how Cork residents dealt with their unexpected American guests.

Dr John Borgonovo is a lecturer in the School of History at UCC. His publications include Spies, Informers, and the 'Anti-Sinn Féin' Society: The Intelligence War in Cork City, 1920-1921; The Dynamics of War and Revolution: Cork City, 1916-1918; Exercising a close vigilance over their daughters: Cork women, American sailors, and Catholic vigilantes, 1917-18; Something in the Nature of a Massacre: The Bandon Valley Killings Revisited (with Andy Bielenberg). His latest publication (with co-authors John Crowley, Donal Ó Drisceoil and Mike Murphy) is the highly acclaimed and magnificient Atlas of the Irish Revolution. In July of this year, he organised a very successful conference on Winning the Western Approaches - Unrestricted Submarine Warfare and the US Navy in Ireland 1917-1918.
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11th October, 2017  ·  

Apple Juicing Day in Clonakilty next Sunday Sept 30th. All welcome to bring their apples from 2-6pm to the Clonakilty Community Garden (on entrance road to Clonakilty Lodge).

Building on the success of its inaugural 2016 event, local voluntary environmental organisation Sustainable Clonakilty invites people to bring along their apples and press them to extract their own juice to take home, using the group's Apple Press.

Volunteers will be at hand to assist in the procedure. Bring along your apples washed; clean containers to freeze your juice (milk/juice bottles or cartons, plastic bottles with caps); clean, sterilised glass bottles to pasteurise with swing caps or suitable for 26 mm diameter metal cap.

A limited number of new 3 litres juice bags that are suitable for freezing and pasteurising, can be purchased for a nominal fee on the day also.

This is a free community event and donations will be welcome to cover costs.

For further information, please contact Xavier at xavierdubuisson@gmail.com or text at 086/0476124.
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