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    Coup for Púca Festival and the Boyne Valley as Beamed to Millions as International Media Visit

    Coup for Púca Festival and the Boyne Valley as Beamed to Millions as International Media Visit

    In a coup for tourism in Ireland’s Ancient East, film crews from across the US and France, together with a group of international journalists and bloggers from India, Canada and Europe, who have a combined audience reach of nearly 300million, have arrived in Ireland to experience the new three-day Púca Halloween Festival which takes place this weekend across Trim, Athboy and Drogheda.

    The Púca festival was developed by Fáilte Ireland in partnership with Meath and Louth County Councils to celebrate Ireland as the original birthplace of Halloween.  It tells the story of Halloween’s origins in the Celtic tradition of Samhain, with a view to encouraging more international visitors to visit Ireland during October and November.

    Fáilte Ireland, the National Tourism Development Authority, together with Tourism Ireland – Ireland’s overseas marketing body, are pulling out all the stops this weekend to highlight the new Púca festival to top US presenter Gabe Saglie and his film crew from Travelzoo, together with PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) USA and the award-winning travel series Joseph Rosendo’s Travelscope, who will be filming here.  A crew from Pays et Marchés du Monde, a popular French food and travel TV series will also be filming at Púca and at some of the Boyne Valley Food Series events.

    Commenting on the importance of hosting international media at the inaugural Púca Festival, Head of Festivals at Fáilte Ireland Ciara Sugrue said:

    “At Fáilte Ireland we believe the Púca Festival has the potential to motivate 100,000 overseas visitors to come to Ireland at an off-peak time of the year and generate €12m in revenue for the local region.  Festivals give overseas visitors a unique opportunity to experience the very best of our culture and our country while delivering brilliant visitor experiences. Festivals also play a key role in revenue generation and job creation in local communities. As the National Tourism Development Authority, we have identified festivals as a key component in growing tourism, particularly in the off-peak season and outside of traditional tourism hotspots.”

    Púca is a new festival celebrating Ireland as the original birthplace of Halloween. Strongly rooted in tradition, it takes place in three locations across Meath and Louth from 31st October-2nd November and is designed to capture the original and authentic spirit of Samhain across three nights of music, food, light shows and spectacle.

    Top US presenter Gabe Saglie with Travelzoo, commented on his visit:

    “Is there a better place to be during the spookiest holiday of the year than Ireland, the home of Halloween?! The beautiful Boyne Valley has always been a favorite destination for me, for its people, its landscapes, its food and its history. Returning to discover and report on its claim to fame as the birthplace of Halloween 3000 years ago simply adds to Ireland's allure and -- with the launch of the Púca Festival -- solidifies its standing as a haven for world-class festivals. In what is the latest collaboration between Travelzoo, Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland and its many partners, I am extremely excited to share details of Halloween's origins with millions of travelers around the world -- and to inspire them to consider experiencing this fascinating holiday in the place where it all began!

    Siobhan McManamy, Tourism Ireland’s Head of Markets, said:

    “Tourism Ireland teams around the world have been working hard to promote the new Púca Festival. We are delighted that so many international travel and lifestyle journalists are visiting this week, to experience this wonderful festival for themselves at first-hand.  We’re particularly pleased that several film crews from the US and France are here, highlighting Púca and Ireland’s Ancient East to millions of potential holidaymakers. The broadcasts by Travelzoo will include footage and live interviews, which will air on TV stations across the US, reaching an estimated 9.5 million viewers. Footage will also be streamed live on the Tourism Ireland and TravelZoo Facebook accounts. The Emmy Award-winning travel series Joseph Rosendo’s Travelscope, which airs on PBS, is also filming here and will reach around 280 million people across the US. And, a crew from Pays et Marchés du Monde, a popular food and travel TV series which reaches over one million viewers in France, is also filming at Púca and at some of the Boyne Valley Food Series events.”


    Púca Festival
    According to Irish folklore, Halloween can be traced back to the ancient Celtic tradition of Samhain. The old Irish for ‘summer’s end’, Samhain marked the end of the harvest season, when all the crops were picked and stored for the “New Year”. Our ancient ancestors believed in celebrating points in the calendar year according to the turning of the seasons. We know that this celebration involved lighting fires, feasting on the crops of the harvest, music, gathering together and storytelling.

    Púca festival is a three-day festival that will reopen the pathways of reflection and celebration carved by travellers over 2,000 years ago. Three nights of music, fire, feasting & mischief in one of the places where it all began.

    Púca festival will recreate the ancient traditions of lighting the first fires of the Celtic new year. Festival highlights will include a torch-lit procession, a programme of events in surrounding heritage towns and villages as well as harvest-inspired food experiences.

    Púca festival is named after the mischievous, shapeshifting character , Púca who will be at the heart of the 3-day celebrations, alongside the other Samhain beings – Boann, the spirit of Light; Morrigan, the harbinger of Dark and mischief-maker, Fear Dearg.

    Festival Name
    • What does Púca mean?
    ‘Púca’, a character from Celtic folklore often associated with Samhain, was chosen as the name for the festival.
    At ancient new year when light turns to dark, the veil between realities draws thin, rules can be broken, and the spirits move between worlds. Púca comes alive, a shape-shifting spirit, roaming the night and changing the fortunes of those that cross her.

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