> I am interested in learning about the origins and content of the Puck
>Fair in Killorglin, Co. Kerry. I believe it is held every August and its
>connotations appear to be rather ancient. Any sources and/or references
>listmembers might be able to provide would be greatly appreciated. Thea
>ancient traditions which still prevail in the event interest me a great deal
>( and my grandfather's family lived there for generations.) Thanks in advance!
> B.A. Sullivan
> [log in to unmask]
>A good description of the fair can be found in Padraic Colum's "A Treasury
of Irish Folklore", 1982, Crown Publishers, inc. ISBN 0-517-42046-5. I once
leaned on it heavily to write an article. Here's an excerpt:
In the small village of Killorglin in County Kerry, built on the river Laune
which flows out of the Lakes of Killarney, the famous "Puck Fair and Pattern"
was held every August.From all over West Munster, Kerrymen would look
"going home for Puck" with the same enthusiasm that"going home for Christmas"
evokes in other communities.
It lasted three glorious days. August 10th was Gathering Day; August 11th -
Puck's Fair Day; August 12th - Scattering Day or Children's Day, an order which
followed an ancient pattern.
On the evening of Gathering Day, a colorful pageant processed from the bridge
end of the town bearing the hero of the piece:an enormous Puck (male)
festooned with ribbons and rosettes, who was borne in a lorry to its
three-storied platform in the central town square.
Here King Puck presided over a great cattle, sheep and horse fair that took
place over the next three days.In this he was aided by the Baron of the Fair, a
title handed down from father to son in a local family for over three hundred
years. More than just an honorary role,the Baron had the right to collect
every animal sold.
For three days King Puck reigned supreme, while shops and pubs stayed open day
Copyright Mara Freeman, 1994
* * * * * * * * * * *
Mara Freeman * Carmel,CA * [log in to unmask]
She is not any common earth
Water or wood or air
But Merlin's Isle of Gramarye
That you and I will fare