Fifth annual Imbolc Festival

FESTIVAL

Fifth annual Imbolc Festival
By Ryan Dunne ryan@leinsterexpress.ie @laoisnews

The fifth annual Imbolc Festival, or the ‘Milking of the Goat Festival’, organised by the Slieve Bloom Association, will take place on Sunday February 5.

On February 5 at the Bracket Stones on Spink Hill audiences will hear old stories about the area and the traditions of the Celtic festival of Imbolc.

Imbolc Festival marks the beginning of spring. It is one of the four Celtic seasonal festivals, the others being Bealtane, Lughnasadh and Samhain.

The Imbolc Festival was revived by the Slieve Bloom Association in 2013. There are many customs associated with Imbolc festival and the custom associated with the Slieve Bloom Mountains is the milking of the goat.

At this family friendly event people will have the opportunity to watch or take part in the ancient festival of the milking of the goat on Spink Hill and maybe churn the milk.

Afterwards, the new Imbolc Goat will be crowned, adorned with ribbons and garlands.

Last year’s festival saw Suzie crowned Imbolc Goat 2016 and the association are now searching for a successor.

Does your nanny goat have what it takes to be crowned Slieve Bloom Imbolc Goat 2017? If you have a milking goat and would like to participate, the Slieve Bloom Association would love to hear from you. You can contact the association at 085 737 6745 / 087 206 1673.

The meeting point for the festival on February 5 is Cadamstown car park, County Offaly, leaving at 2pm sharp for the Bracket Stones on Spink Hill.