Arts & Entertainment

Spirit of Púca goes to Ireland’s Slane Castle for Halloween

By Javier Aja

Dublin, Oct 28 (EFE).- With Halloween just around the corner, Ireland looks set to celebrate the ancient tradition with the spirit of Púca, a popular shape-shifting creature from the Celtic folklore that every year inhabits the country’s Ancient East.

The Púca festival, in its second edition, will bring music, myths, light and fire shows and food to the towns of Athboy, Trim and Drogheda, which are steeped in the Celtic legends and traditions of Samhain, the Gaelic festival of the dead.

Slane Castle, known for hosting open-air concerts including those of Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, R.E.M., U2, the Rolling Stones and Metallica, will join in celebrations this year.

The castle’s residents, Earls of Mount Charles Alexander and Carina Conyngham, have not yet revealed who would perform in this year’s edition.

The most famous Irish mythological creatures such as the Boann, the Morrígan, far darrig and Púca, will come to life for the first time in the castle and its surroundings for visitors wandering through the woods at dusk.

Carina believes that it is important for Halloween to be recognized internationally as an Irish cultural contribution because it originated in the Boyne Valley before speading across the world.

Recent archaeological research suggests that the event was celebrated atop Tlachtga Hill in the valley more than 2,000 years ago.

“It’s the notion that’s the end of the season post-harvest, so there’s a new cycle coming in. There’s a deep superstition of magic, fairies, spirits, and it’s when the veil between darkness and light is at its thinnest,” Alexander explains.

“So people dressed up in costumes to try to protect themselves from the spirits and fairies,” a tradition that Alexander says exported by the Irish to America.

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