Saturday, June 1, 2013

Sepia Saturday: A Traditional Irish Festival in Sepia

Every January for the last ten years, a traditional festival called Tradfest has taken hold of the Temple Bar neighbourhood, and the grounds of Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin. Ringed by the wrought iron fences of the Christ Church grounds, many beloved Irish traditions are on display, such as Irish dancing and children's choirs singing time-honoured Gaelic songs. Old time practices of farming life are also demonstrated, such as the hand milling of grain, the cutting of peat bricks, and the weaving of St. Brigid's crosses.

Also on the grounds are lots of lovely creatures, both human and animal, which you might find on a farm, such as Gentlewoman farmers dressed in traditional costume along with goats and lambs, turkeys and chickens, and even a donkey or two. These images which I shot this past January were originally in colour, but in the spirit of Sepia Saturday I have reproduced them here in sepia.

Be sure to stop by Alan and Kat's Sepia Saturday blog to see how others have interpreted today's inspiration image. Perhaps you'll be inspired too.

This gentle little donkey bore most of these peat bricks to the festival in the cart to which he is strapped.
A Gentlewoman farmer, dressed in traditional costume, with two of her furry charges.
Himself out walking his turkey.
Pouring himself a drop of poteen.
A traditional Gypsy caravan.
A sheepish smile for me? Wooly the sheep enjoys a bit of straw.
Copyright©irisheyesjg2013.
Click on images to view larger versions.

22 comments:

  1. I love Irish dancing. One year, I will get to visit Ireland and experience the customs.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Sharon,

      Me too! I hope you do visit Ireland sometime. Thanks very much for your comments.

      Cheers,
      Jennifer

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  2. Lovely sepia interpretations! I especially like the Gentlewoman. Please excuse my ignorance, but what it poteen, and what are peat bricks?

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    1. Hi Charlotte,

      Thanks very much for your comments. I like the Gentlewoman too. No worries. Poteen is a type of hard liquor which has a very high alcohol content (between 60 and 90%), and it has been produced in Ireland for centuries. It was outlawed in 1661, but continued to be illegally produced in rural areas. These days legal poteen is produced by some distillers in Ireland. I've never tasted it, but it doesn't sound very pleasant to me. For generations peat bricks were cut in the peat bogs of Ireland and used to heat homes before the days of central heating. These days few people use it for that purpose, but you can still buy it to use in your fireplace. If you know Irish poet Seamus Heaney at all, you might take a look at his bog poems. Quite an interesting mix of history and literature.

      Cheers,
      Jennifer

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  3. Thes would be great photos in any colour, but sepia seems to be just right for them. The donkey shot is superb.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Bob,

      Thanks very much for your comments. I really appreciate them. I'm really glad you like the donkey shot. I was surprised to see him so calm among the sea of people around him, but then he's probably used to that.

      Cheers,
      Jennifer

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  4. These are wonderful photos....my favorite is of the man pouring poteen...did you do the sepia effect? I could do the same with my post for this week if I have time. I had not known what poteen was despite lots of readings so I am glad you explained above.... Looks like a fun place to visit.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Patricia,

      Thanks very much for your comments. I originally shot the photos in colour, then developed sepia versions. Glad to let you know about poteen.

      Cheers,
      Jennifer

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  5. I can never forget the smell of peat bricks from visits to Ireland!!

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    1. Hi Jackie/Jake,

      Thanks very much for your comments. I love the scent of peat bricks burning on a fire. There's just nothing like it.

      Cheers,
      Jennifer

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  6. Lovely pictures, and starting off with one of my favourite creatures (Kat's too). Like Bob I think they'd look just as good in colour.

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    1. Hi Little Nell,

      Thanks very much for your comments. I love the donkey too, a very sweet creature. I have all the photos I shot that day in colour too, so I can be in the past or the present, depending on my mood.

      Cheers,
      Jennifer

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  7. Lovely sepia photos, Jennifer - totally in keeping with TradFest! Wish I could visit - I'd likely have a wee drop of that poteen with someone!

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    1. Hi Celia,

      Thanks very much for your comments. Wish you could visit too. I'd even toast a drop of poteen with you.

      Cheers,
      Jennifer

      Delete
  8. Every folk festival has a unique flavor, and I think you've captured the best qualities of this one. These photos do work well with a peaty patina. We can almost hear and smell the fair too.

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    Replies
    1. Hello Mike,

      Thanks very much for your comments. It's nice to hear from you. I like that phrase 'peaty patina', and am glad the photos bring you to that place of celebration.

      Cheers,
      Jennifer

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  9. When I visited Christ Church nothing much was going on and it was still a wonderful spot. I can imagine it would be really fun during a festival. Love the sepias.

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    1. Hi Helen,

      Thanks very much for your comments. It's nice to hear from you. Christ Church, as you know, certainly is a lovely spot at any time, but it's especially nice to see the grounds come alive with people and animals.

      Cheers,
      Jennifer

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  10. Fascinating photos and they look great in sepia. It looks like a very interesting festival.

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    1. Hi Liz,

      Thanks very much for your comments. I like the images in sepia too. It is quite an interesting festival, with the past and the present together.

      Cheers,
      Jennifer

      Delete
  11. As far as I'm concerned, the donkey steals the show here,
    though the turkey was something to see...
    Curious about the poteen...
    It sounds like an "eau-de-vie",
    like ouzo or grappa, or even arak.
    I'd give it a try.
    :)~
    HUGZ

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    Replies
    1. Hi Ticklebear,

      Thank you for your poetic comments. They are very much appreciated. Looks as though the donkey wins hands down, with the runner up position going to the poteen, although there would probably be very little running if we were to partake.

      Cheers,
      Jennifer

      Delete

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