Saturday, February 2, 2013

Celebrating Irish Culture on a Winter's day: TradFest 2013

For the last couple of weeks I've been away, back to Dublin to complete some research, left unfinished in October, for my history work. I'm glad to say that it wasn't all work and no play, and although time did not allow for much family history research, the weekends afforded the opportunity to enjoy a little life outside of libraries and archives.

Although the weather was poor at times, with gale force winds whipping the coast, nothing speaks better of the spirit of the Irish than the ability to make the best of a bad situation, and January proved the perfect time for a little celebration. From 22-27 January, the annual TradFest took over the Temple Bar area of Dublin, including the grounds of Christ Church Cathedral. Stages, tents and little cottages were set up, offering a taste of traditional Irish life from the past, as well as food, dance, song and instrumental music. It proved a lovely way to spend a somewhat rainy Saturday afternoon. Here are a few images from that day, along with a little video of the brave souls convinced to join in with the dancing inside one of the tents:

On the grounds of Christ Church Cathedral; right: a woman making St. Brigid's crosses.
Some gentle four-legged friends.
Herself, posing nicely for a picture.
Great to see young Irish embracing the traditional music of their homeland.
A large group of young people beautifully playing traditional music.
As in days of old, the dairyman bringing his milk to market for sale.
A placid donkey overlooking a large pile of bog turf. The scent of burning turf filled the air,
as it fuelled nearby fire pots, reminding me of the turf fires in my aunts' homes when I was a child.
Just out walking his turkey around.
Purveyors of the poteen, and the bicycles.

Click on images to view larger versions.


  1. Looks like lots of fun. I especially like 'Wooly'. I wonder if this was a part of The Gathering.

  2. Hi Colleen,

    Thanks for your comments; as always, much appreciated. It was a lot of fun, and the animals were just lovely, so gentle. The woman who was making the St. Brigid's crosses gave me one to take away with me. It's a lovely reminder of the day. Although TradFest has been a Temple Bar tradition for the last nine years, they have added themselves to 'The Gathering' this year.


  3. Love the dancing, especially... thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi Catherine,

      Thanks for your comments. As always, much appreciated. I love the dancing too. It's nice to see people just let go and celebrate.



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