The four walking festivals

CROSS QUARTER WALKING FESTIVALS

Four festivals held in the Reeks District

Walking Festivals

CROSS QUARTER WALKING FESTIVALS

Each season had a festival in the Gaelic calendar to celebrate the cycles of change in the natural world. Many of the rites associated with these holidays have survived into the present day even if their origin has been forgotten.

With our Cross Quarter Walking Festival, we want to return to the root of these traditions and rediscover our connection with nature. The Cross Quarter Walking Festivals are a chance to return to the Reeks District and take in the unique magic of each season at the height of its power.

We hope to gather at these natural milestones to spend time out in nature, to learn a little bit of history, to continue traditional crafts, and to enjoy some cosy music sessions as well. Gather with us for the turning of the seasons and cultivate a sense of connection to the natural world in the Reeks District.

THE EVENTS

Friday
Gather for candlelit acoustic sessions in a cosy pub.
Saturday
Embark on a sunrise hike in the hills. Learn a traditional craft in the evening.
Sunday
Walk the old roads. Explore an ancient site with a historian.
Monday
Follow the local food trail.
Candlelit Acoustic Sessions

Usher in the Bealtaine spirit with music sessions by candlelight in local pubs.

Ancient Rock Art

Explore some Bronze Age rock art with an expert near Lough Coomasaharn.

Walk Through History

Join us on a guided walks through centuries of history.

Pop Up Gaeltacht

Have a conversation in Irish or hear the language spoken.

Book one of the 4 walking festivals

Choose your festival date

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HIGHLIGHTS

IMBOLC

In Ireland, people mark the coming of Spring by celebrating Imbolc, one of the four major holidays on the Gaelic calendar. The holiday itself is so old that historians can’t be sure of its origins, but some have argued that it could have roots in the Neolithic period because there are tombs from this era that are aligned with the sunrise at Imbolc. We do know that pre-Christian people celebrated the goddess Brigid at this time and that, by the 7th century, the holiday had been dedicated to the celebration of Saint Brigid. This walking festival is a natural addition to Imbolc and gives us a chance to get out in nature and appreciate the many ways that history is a part of the landscape here. Imbolc is a time for meeting up again after the winter and looking forward to warmer days ahead.

BEALTAINE

May is a time when people in the Reeks District celebrate the arrival of summer with Bealtaine. In ancient Ireland, these celebrations were connected with Dagda, the fertility god. In modern times, we still observe some of the ancient rites by hanging out May boughs or decorating shrubbery around our homes. Our Bealtaine Walking Festival is the perfect way to celebrate the time of plenty. Longer daylight hours and warmer weather mean plenty of time to explore walking routes with history and ancient rock art. The walks will be rounded off with music, Irish culture and language, good food and company.

LUGHANSA

On the Gaelic calendar, Lughnasa was a time to give thanks to the god Lugh for a good harvest. Lugh was a fun-loving god, so the most appropriate way to celebrate the harvest bounty is with light-hearted revelry. In modern Ireland, harvest time is still marked with fun fairs and festivals. This walking festival is a good way to enhance your enjoyment of our local harvest festival, Puck Fair, which is also Ireland's oldest fair. Lughnasa is a chance to spend the days leading up to Puck engaging in activities connected to history and culture in the coastal mountain landscapes of the Reeks District.

SAMHAIN

In the Gaelic calendar, Samhain ushers in the dark part of the year ruled over by the mother goddess, Morrigan. This is when the seasons change and the pace of life slows down. Our Samhain Walking Festival is all about appreciating the changing seasons by enjoying crisp autumn walks before warming up by the fire. It’s a time for getting cosy, appreciating the comfort of hot drinks, company and passing time with a good story.

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STAY IN REEKS DISTRICT

Whether you’re looking for a laidback homey B&B, or a an elegant country house hotel, we've a range of great places to stay.

Cross Quarter Walking Festivals

Killorglin, Reeks District

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Thank you!

to Kerry County Council Community Support fund for contributing to the funding of the Cross Quarter Festivals website.

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