From the comfort of one of the beautifully appointed Killarney hotels, Ireland a short 20 minute drive will bring you to the small town of Killorglin and its unique Puck Fair. One of the largest family festivals in Ireland, the Puck Fair sees a local male goat crowned as King for the three day festival, which takes place annually from August 10th to 12th.
(photo by: jaqian)
Although originally the scene of a trade fair where farm animals, including goats were traded amongst farmers from around County Kerry, the Puck Fair is now a family affair that sees street performers, bands and plenty of traditionally Irish food available. For three days each August the small town of Killorglin virtually closes down as 12 hours of entertainment for the whole family takes place on its streets, and in the many restaurants and pubs lining the streets. Visitors make their way to Killorglin from around the world for this unique festival, with the short 20 minute journey from Killarney hotels, Ireland to Killorglin a major draw to those wanting to take a day trip to this exciting spectacle, but spend their nights outside the celebration area.
The exact origins of the Puck Fair remain a mystery, with the most popular legend about the first goat king revolving around the 17th century English Civil War. As Oliver Cromwell’s Roundheads made their way across County Kerry they reached the base of McGillycuddy Reeks and came upon a goat herd. To enforce their authority on the region, the Roundheads killed many of the animals, but a few escaped, including a male, or Puc in the Irish language.
The injured Puc made his way across the mountains and finally reached the village of Killorglin, where the people realised the English were close by and made preparations to protect themselves and their belongings. After the English passed through the region the goat was awarded a festival where he was crowned King of Killorglin for a short time.
From the Gathering that opens the Puck Fair to the closing of the festival known as the Scattering, the people of Killorglin barely pause for breath as the fun continues through the day and night. Can you really miss out on enjoying this unusual festival set against one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world?