The most popular annual cultural event in Ireland, National Heritage Week, this year takes place from August 17 to August 25. More than 2,200 heritage events are expected to be organized under the theme “Pastimes/Past Times”.
The Heritage Council is inviting the entire nation to take a week-long journey through the evolution of leisure activities in Ireland. From Donegal to Cork, participants are going to be introduced to Ireland’s favourite means of entertainment from horseracing and medieval banquets to contemporary, digital art installations. Various guided tours, exhibitions, sport events, workshops and concerts will be staged throughout the country to showcase Ireland’s diverse free time tradition to half a million visitors of all ages.
Photo source: National Heritage Week
As a part of European Heritage Days, the events are devoted to exploration, promotion and preservation of different aspects of national heritage within international scope. With Arts and Entertainment as the focal point of EHDs in 2019, Ireland’s national pastime exploration will provide valuable insight into development of arts and entertainment forms in this part of Europe through history.
Training for National Heritage Week Event Organisers
In order to encourage heritage activism and inspire new and experienced event organisers alike, National Heritage Week and the Heritage Council have prepared a free training day for all interested Heritage Week event organisers, at the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin. Scheduled for 29 March 2019, the event will gather a number of speakers who will provide useful advice on successful event planning for heritage groups and organisations. For a complete speakers programme and early registration, visit the official National Heritage Week webpage: www.heritageweek.ie/register-an-event/training-day .
Heritage Week 2018 Highlights
As visitors and organisations are preparing for the new heritage discovery opportunities, it would be interesting to take a look at some of the highlights from the last year’s celebrations. While exploring Sharing Stories theme, Ireland presented a attractive programme dedicated to discovering innovative ways of sharing stories. In the European Year of Cultural Heritage, hundreds of nationally and locally organized events at National Heritage Week 2018, promoted personal and collective narratives as symbolical bonding framework for diverse European national identities. Large audience at the 2018 Heritage Week celebration, had the opportunity to try the traditional letter writing technique at the Ellen Hutchins Festival; paddle in a traditional Irish currach that starred in the TW show – Game of Thrones; or to enjoy in a beautiful built, cultural and natural heritage of Merlin Woods in Galway.
Traditionally, event organisers are offered help in the form of a inspirational manual which contains a total of 100 creative ideas for indoors, outdoors, family and community heritage events. The manual provides valuable event ideas that will encourage discoveries of local, regional, national and international pastime dimensions.
Photo source: National Library of Ireland
By reviving old crafts and traditional entertainment and leisure forms, visitors at the 2019 National Heritage Week in Ireland will be able to learn more about these aspect of their national heritage and how to preserve them. Moreover, the celebrations will offer new perspective for exploring cross-cultural heritage connections.