The longest day of the year, known as the Summer Solstice, has long been celebrated throughout the world as a day of great significance. Traditionally, great bonfires were lit at sunset and tended through the night, accompanied by music, dancing, and lots of customs. Throughout the weekend of midsummer, families are invited to Slieve Aughty Centre to celebrate this special time of year and learn about the history and lore surrounding it.
All day Saturday and Sunday families can go for a walk, tour the garden, make a craft, get their face painted, try a special summer menu, visit the nature hut, dress up as a family with lots of costumes, pet the animals, or bring the kids for a pony ride. Best of all, all activities are free, except the pony rides which are offered for a reduced rate of just €10 per child! For a truly magical experience, from sunset to the wee hours of the night Sunday night the traditional bonfire will be lit. This day is known as St. John's Eve and is widely celebrated throughout Europe.
There will be sparklers for the kids (with parent permission and supervision of course!), music and special free supervised activities for children ages 4-12. Organic food and drink will be on sale, including fresh breads from a clay oven, and you can learn about some of the most popular and bizarre practices from the past. Participation required.