This February events around the Irish coast include a music festival, comedy festival and traditional Gaelic festival – so as far as festivals are concerned, we’ve definitely got you covered – but there’s lots more to do as well!
Here’s our pick of top coastal events this February.
1. Feile Na Tána, Carlingford | 31st January – 2nd February
The annual Féile na Tána takes place in the picturesque town of Carlingford.
Over the course of the weekend, the cream of Irish traditional musicians will teach workshops and then perform on stage for all to enjoy. Workshops are open to students of all ages and with 14 different workshops to choose from there is bound to be something to suit everyone. Most workshops are for students with at least 3 years experience with their instrument – Fiddle advanced and intermediate, Tin whistle advanced, Pipes, Harp, Flute, Accordian, Concertina, Guitar, Banjo, Bodhran. But there are 3 workshops available for beginners also – easy whistle, singing and sean nos dancing.
There is also a great platform for budding young musicians to show off their wealth of talents during the Friday and Sunday concerts. The opening concert on Friday January 31st is free admission. The concerts on Saturday and Sunday are €10 admission. Children and families are welcome at all events. Workshops are €35 per student and this includes free admission to all concerts over the weekend for the student.
2. Imbolc Festival at Hook Lighthouse, Wexford | 1st – 2nd February
Hook Lighthouse will celebrate Imbolc, a Gaelic traditional festival marking the beginning of spring, it is also the feast of St. Bridget, in ancient Irish mythology, Bridget was a fire goddess, she is also the patron saint of boatmen, sailors, and mariners.
Imbolc is one of the lesser-known festivals of the ancient Celts, but it was one of the four most important festivals in the Celtic calendar and was revived and celebrated at the 800-year-old lighthouse last year and is back again with music, poetry and storytelling and songs, sunrise tour and lots of fun and games.
More info here
3. World Wetlands Day | Events around the country – 2nd February
To celebrate World Wetlands day a number of great events are taking place to raise awareness about the beauty and importance of our fragile wetland areas. This years theme is Wetlands and Climate Change. Events including walks, talks and film screenings are happening around the country.
- Waterford – Guided Nature Walk through the Anne Valley Wetlands with wildlife author and photographer Paddy Dwan. The walk is suitable for all ages. –
- Kilkenny – Guided walk at Newpark Fen, Lovers Lane, Kilkenny.
- Waterford – Join West Waterford Eco Group for a guided nature walk with John Power to view wintering wildfowl and waders in Dungarvan Harbour.
- Westmeath – Guide walk around Scragh Bog, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath.
- Cork – Ecologist Pascal Sweeney will be leading a Cork Nature Network walk in Clogheenmilcon Fen, Blarney.
- Leitrim – Celebrating Leitrims Wetland Heritage at Canon Donohoe Hall, Main Street, Mohill, Co. Leitrim
- Wexford – Short walk of headland trail and Ballymoney stream where an old stream obstacle has been removed.
- Roscommon – Learn about wetlands in Co. Roscommon. Visit the Biodiversity Display and join for a short walk along the River Suck Callows to spot some wildlife.
4. Dun Laoghaire Clean Coasts Roadshows 2020, Dublin | Wednesday 5th February at 6pm
Check out the Clean Coasts Roadshow which arrives into Dun Laoghaire for a series of interesting talks in February.
The Dun Laoghaire roadshow will have Richard Curtin, Clean Coast Officer for the Dublin, speaking on the impacts of plastic on the marine environment, Dr Kieran Craven from the Cherish project speaking about the impacts of climate change on coastal heritage and Veronica Heywood speaking about Bootertowns Nature Reserve and how the local community adopted it. The Roadshow is taking place at Eurofound, Wyattville Road, Loughlinstown.
5. Biddys Day, Killorglin, Kerry | Saturday 8th February
The Biddy is honoured every year in the mid-Kerry region, with Biddy groups visiting rural houses and public houses. The Biddys carry a Brídeóg with them, to ensure evil spirits are kept away from humans and animals alike for the coming year.
Sometimes compared to the Wren Boys and Straw Boys, the Biddys are an ancient tradition with its heritage being a mixture of Christianity (St Brigid) and ancient Celtic traditions (Imbolc). Imbolc is one of the four Celtic half days along with Lá Bealtaine, Lughnasa and Samhain. Traditionally, a visit from the Biddy guaranteed good luck, fertility, prosperity and to not receive a visit was considered a terrible slight.
The highlight of this festival is the Torchlight Parade of the Biddy through Killorglin town and the colourful King of the Biddies contest.
6. Terryland Forest Park Cleanup, Galway | 8th February (12 pm – 1 pm)
Join the Galway Atlantaquaria Clean Coasts group on their Terryland Forest Park Cleanup.
Galway Atlantaquaria Clean Coasts group invite the public to help keep our urban forest clean and free from litter. Terryland forest park is a much valued Green Space in the heart of our city and is home to an abundance of flora and fauna. These Clean Coasts activities are a great opportunity to meet new people, exercise and gain benefits for doing some great voluntary work.
Health and Safety. All participants are asked to make sure to wear suitable clothing and shoes and should ensure their own personal safety, well being and not take risks.
The group will meet in the park by the entrance (beside Currys PC World at the Galway Retail park).
7. Bray Comedy Festival, Wicklow | 12th – 16th February
Come to the lovely seaside town of Bray for Comedy festival. The festival has some of Ireland’s funniest people taking to the stage and they’ll have you in stitches. Now in it’s sixth year, Bray Comedy Festival gets bigger and funnier with more of the best comedy acts bringing belly laughs and banter to Bray.
The festival takes place over five days in multiple venues across the town of Bray, with comedy for the whole family to enjoy. The 2020 lineup stars Jason Byrne, David McSavage and Andrew Maxwell alongside many others.
8. Tedfest, Inis Mor, Galway | 20th – 23rd February
Tedfest has become an annual institution for fans of the classic comedy show Father Ted. Each year fans flock to Inis Mor on the Aran Islands to celebrate the show with events, fancy dress and of course the Lovely Girls competition!
9. Rosslare Burrow Lifeboat Memorial Wreath-laying Ceremony, Wexford | Sunday 23rd February at 3pm
The annual Rosslare Burrow Lifeboat Memorial ceremony will take place on Sunday 24th February at 3 pm. The annual ceremony honours the brave lifeboat men who lost their lives in 1914 while rescuing the stricken ship Mexico that wrecked off the Wexford coast. The ceremony will take place at the RNLI memorial at The Burrow in Rosslare.
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