Celtic Calendar

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We present celebration events following the Celtic Calendar of Samhain, Yule, Imbolc, Ostara, Bealtaine, Litha, Lughnasa, and Mabon to remind us of the ancient roots of our folk culture

The year at Siamsa Tíre follows the Celtic calendar, which in turn mirrors the natural world as it changes from season to season.


Samhain is the Celtic New Year. It marks the end of harvest season, when the days shorten and we prepare for the winter ahead, gathering around fires for warmth and light.

It’s a threshold time of liminality, danger and awareness of mortality and mystery, when the boundaries between worlds dissolve. A time when the ghosts that haunt us must be acknowledged and honoured.

Samhain is also a turning point in the Siamsa Tíre programme, marking the conclusion of our annual Festival of Folk and the beginning of planting seeds, ideas and plans for the future.

The Winter Solstice is considered the ‘dark night of the soul’ of the Celtic Calendar. It’s when the longest night of the year requires us to create internal light to illuminate and warm our world, while also giving us the opportunity for rest, deep reflection, dreamtime, and visioning.

Imbolc marks the return of spring and the awakening of potential. The shoots of seeds planted the previous year begin to push to the surface and the earliest leaves begin to bud.

Our programme begins to emerge too, with fresh voices and the seeds of new ideas.

Spring Equinox is a time when day is equal to night, a moment in the Celtic calendar that holds light and dark in equal measure. At this point of equilibrium and stability, we look ahead to the brighter days of summer.


Bealtaine is the Celtic festival that celebrates the return of summer. It’s when growth accelerates, energy increases, and the whole world blooms and expands.

At Siamsa Tíre, it marks the commencement of our annual Festival of Folk, when we bustle with vitality and channel the abundant energy of summer to grow, shine, and blossom together.


Litha is the summer solstice, the height of the summer season. It’s the most powerful moment of potential when light dominates the longest day of the year. It is when we are shining our brightest and that’s why we have chosen it as a focal point for the youth ensembles within our Festival of Folk.


Lughnasa is the ritual of the harvest and a festival of abundance. It’s a time of reaping what we have sown and enjoying the fruits of our labour. Many associate the festival with unbridled dancing, which is why we have made Lughnasa the centre point of our Folk Festival. We programme additional events and gather the community together to celebrate with us.

The Autumn Equinox is the counterpoint to the Spring Equinox, a time when light and dark are once again in perfect balance. Siamsa Tíre uses this time to look back and reflect on the summer as we prepare to delve deeper into our purpose over the coming winter months.

And so the cycle continues.