Program: Fire Festivals – Holiday Traditions in Ireland

Vikki Ni BhreinIrish Cultural Center and Elms College Fulbright Scholar Vikki Ní Bhréin will present ‘Fire Festivals,’ a program detailing holiday traditions in Ireland, at an ICC event on Monday December 1, 2014, at 7:00 p.m. in the Alumnae Library theater at the Elms College.

The presentation is free and open to the public.

Ní Bhréin will speak about the Celtic Irish festivals and the traditions that have descended down from them today. She will look at Imbolc (Spring Equinox) and how it exists in the form of St. Bridget’s Day today; Beltene (Summer fire festival) and how it is still celebrated as Mayday in Western Europe today; Lughnasa (Autumn fire festival) and how many celebrations still descend from it; Samhain (Celtic New Year) and how Halloween came from this; and finally, Christmas.

She will illustrate her talk with a photograph presentation that looks at all of these festivals.

Ní Bhréin notes that many of the traditions of modern society are familiar to us all, and it is fascinating to see how truly ancient they are and to understand where they came from. It is also interesting, because much of these traditions are important to Irish culture and very much inform our heritage and culture.

Guests will find that many of the traditions are familiar, while others will be new and thought-provoking. It may also, hopefully, stimulate members to discuss this topic and exchange many of the traditions they remember, that may not be covered here, giving us all an opportunity to learn more about this topic from each other.

Ní Bhréin read a double major, Bachelor of Arts degree in N.U.I. Galway. She graduated with a double first class honours degree in 2006. In 2010 she completed a Masters of Arts in Environment, Society and Development, also in N.U.I. Galway.

In 2014, Vikki was awarded a Fulbright FLTA scholarship and is currently working as an Irish language teacher at the Elms College in Chicopee.

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