Photos by Jay G Forde.

Spirit of Uisneach alive at Bealtaine Fire Festival

Article and photos by Jay G Forde

As we entered the Bealtaine Fire Festival grounds at the Hill of Uisneach on Saturday of last week (May 11), the air was alive with rhythmic beats echoing through the trees, and the smell of food cooking.

Renowned as the spiritual and mythological centre of Ireland, this historic site has witnessed ancient rituals and was once the sacred ground for the coronation of the high kings of Ireland.

Bealtaine, celebrating the beginning of summer, is one of the oldest recorded Irish festivals; it is deeply rooted in Irish folklore and mythology, and an important tradition still practised today is the lighting of the Bealtaine fire.

The Bealtaine Fire Festival is a vibrant festival buzzing with the energy of music, food, mindfulness, yoga, crafting demos, stalls, heritage talks and walks, children’s games and the amazing fire, set against a backdrop of breathtaking natural scenery.

At the mindfulness zone, practitioners guide festival-goers through meditative practices, helping them find inner peace amid the vibrant energy of the festival.

Nearby, yoga sessions took place under the open sky, inviting us to connect with body and spirit.

After, we took a stroll around the stalls, where local sellers display their handmade goods such as beautifully woven fabrics and carefully carved wooden items.

As the sun sets, a magical aura descends on the festival site, as fire dancers weave mesmerising patterns of light and heat against the night sky.

It was an experience unlike any other, one that resonated deeply for those who attended. It weaved together moments of tears, laughter and dance for people who created bonds with those they met that day – it was impossible to feel alone.

The artistry, both created by and immersed within the festival, left a vivid imprint.