Fáilte Ireland has announced a new festival to celebrate Halloween, intending to position Ireland internationally as the home of Halloween.

Púca was launched by the Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin. The festival will be centered around Ireland’s Ancient East, and has been developed in partnership with Meath and Louth County Councils.

Rooted in ancient tradition, the festival will celebrate Ireland as the birthplace of Halloween with a full programme of events centred around Trim and Athboy, Co. Meath; and Drogheda, Co. Louth; from 31st October to 2nd November 2019.

According to Irish folklore and more recent archaeological evidence, Halloween can be traced back to the ancient Celtic tradition of Samhain. ‘Summer’s end’ in old Irish, Samhain marked the end of the Celtic Year and the start of a new one and believed to be a time of transition, when the spirits of all those who had passed away since the previous Oíche Shamhna (31st October) moved onto the next life.

A festival of music and light complemented by harvest-inspired food experiences, Púca will celebrate a time when light turns to dark.

Púca is a character from Celtic folklore often associated with Samhain, and was chosen as the name for the festival following consumer research in key markets.

The festival is being funded by Fáilte Ireland, Meath County Council and Louth County Council. It will be delivered by arts-led creative production company, Curated Place, overseen by a Steering Group made up of representatives from Fáilte Ireland, Meath County Council, Louth County Council, the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, the Office of Public Works and Boyne Valley Tourism.

Making the announcement, Minister Griffin said: “I am confident that Púca is well-positioned to attract visitors from around the world to come and celebrate our ancient traditions.”

Head of Product Development at Fáilte Ireland, Orla Carroll, said: “Over the next three years, we are investing €1.5m to develop Púca as a world class festival that positions Ireland as the home of Halloween internationally. We believe it has the potential to motivate 100,000 overseas visitors to come to Ireland and generate €12m in revenue for the local region.”

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