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18th Oct 2019

Ireland’s all-new three-day Halloween spectacular is going to be insane! It’s the Púca festival

Louise Carroll

Brought to you by Discover Ireland

Summer’s end, or Samhain, is looming one and all!

Indeed, it will soon be time to plan our most fearsome outfits, see the most vibrant ensembles adorned, faces splashed with makeup, splattered faux blood all about the place and witness Halloween parties galore.

However, this year, there’s reason to be more excited than ever. It’s the year of Púca!

Named after the legendary Irish spirit that could bring good fortune, or indeed bad, it’s a celebratory weekend taking place across three festival hubs — Athboy, Drogheda and Trim Castle. Púca culminates the true meaning of the Celtic tradition — Samhain — and as they say, it’s ‘where Halloween’s story begins.’

It’s the first year of the Púca festival that celebrates Ireland as the home of Halloween across three whole days of music, fire, feasting and mischief.

From Thursday October 31 until Saturday, November 2,  the festival will celebrate Ireland’s past traditions, marking the end of the Celtic Year when spirits of the year gone by would finally pass through the thin veil between this world and the next.

Expect great big feasts, music acts and performances (like Shadows of the Táin by Candle Lit Tale and David Keenan + Sive in Drogheda, and Jerry Fish’s Púca Sideshow in Trim), circus acts, cabaret performances, harvest foods and some incredible illuminations with lightning skies.

Organisers have a whole host of live events planned in all three of the Púca destinations. To find yourself awe-inspired, head to the Hill of Ward (Tlachtga) in Athboy — it’s the place where the light from the new year shines through and emanates one of the earliest sites that hosted Samhain.

After that is the arrival of the spirits and Trim Castle Concerts where you’ll witness an entirely mischievous night of entertainment.

Friday night has just as much to boast about with the Häxan Film with Live Score taking place in Drogheda where you’ll witness a silent horror unlike any other and where Dublin based composer Matthew Nolan will create a Púca-inspired soundtrack just for the film too.

At the same time at Trim Castle, three of Ireland’s exceptional music bands — Just Mustard, Pillow Queens and Æ Mak will deliver the perfect mix of quality vocals, trip-hop and electronica and infectious beats for the Breaking Tunes Púca Night.


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One of Ireland’s most enigmatic and entertaining performers – @vivajerryfish ! ? An indie legend and ringmaster of exceptional renown, Jerry Fish has evolved into a showman extraordinaire, capturing the hearts and minds of audiences all over with his now legendary live shows, a unique live theatrical experience that dissolves all boundaries between performer and audience. Mr. Fish’s genre bending and idiosyncratic style of entertainment has made him a household name within the Irish Music industry. With two Platinum selling solo albums, an MTV award, an IRMA Music Award, and a reputation as a supreme and spectacular showman. Be sure not to miss Jerry Electric Pica Sideshow. . Find out more ▻ link in bio. . #LoveIreland #TravelIreland #IrelandTravel #PucaFestivalIreland #PucaFestival #Halloween #DiscoverIreland #JerryFish #sideshow #showman

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Saturday’s musical number is Lisa O’ Neill — perfect for such a festival because her music is beautifully influenced by traditional Irish music and more.  Prepare to be entirely fascinated. (Drogheda)

Meanwhile, in Trim, the acclaimed DJ, producer and performer KORMAC will be bringing his hugely innovative project, Equivalent Exchange, to the closing night of the Púca Festival alongside the Irish Chamber Orchestra for an all-round incredible mix of sounds.

In terms of where to stay during your visit, there are countless amounts of B&Bs and self-catering options around Trim and Athboy. Just a few minutes drive away from Trim Castle is Gaulstown House Courtyard Apartments in Dunshaughlin. Each cottage can sleep up to four guests and when you and your mates arrive, you’ll find a welcome pack with home-baked goods, tea, coffee, milk, sugar, plus a basket of turf and firelighters, towels, linen and toiletries. The essential starter pack if you ask us.

Just south-west of the Hill of Tara is the award-winning Signal Restaurant in the Station House Hotel. It offers exceptional food using the freshest of ingredients suited to all tastes and diets. Generally, the early bird is available from Monday to Thursday and it’s well worth it!

Get yourself to the Bounty Bar in the heart of Trim town for a pint before heading to the Púca festival or a spot of delicious pub grub too.

In Drogheda, opt for The d Hotel. Located on the banks of the River Boyne, this award-winning 111 room hotel will provide friends, couples and families with all they could possibly need. There’s also the 19th century Boyne Valley Hotel and Country Club right on the edge of Drogheda town, within a beautiful 16-acre estate. Both fantastic options.

Of course, there will be plenty of food at Púca, but if you’re looking to get lunch beforehand, why not try The Gastro Lounge at Scholars Townhouse. With its Victorian-era aesthetic, oak-panelled walls and paintings depicting times gone by, there are over 100 different whiskeys to choose from as well as professionally trained baristas for a coffee that packs a punch. Expect nibbles like wings, oysters, mussels and crab claws.

Don’t miss the Food and Craft festival too! Aptly named ‘A Feast of Samhain’, the foodie fest is built in conjunction with Boyne Valley Flavours, so you’ll get a real taste of traditional Samhain-inspired foods.

Well everyone, for the most exceptional of Halloween gatherings celebrating the true meaning of Samhain and taking us and the festival itself back to its Celtic roots, look no further than Púca. It promises to be a Samhain spectacular unlike you’ve ever seen before.

Brought to you by Discover Ireland

A festival makes your break, so click on the image below to discover even more things to do that’ll make your break in Ireland something really special. Go to our festival hub here on Her to see more of what’s happening too!