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The Samhain Festival occurs at the beginning of November each year in Manorhamilton.

The festival is a cross community event celebrating the end of the Summer harvest season in gaelic culture and brings together schools, local communities, street performers, dancers  and the visual and performing arts venues of the town.

The sculpture centre provides exhibition and workshop space for the making of arts, costumes, masks and puppets based on the festivals mythological and folkloric traditions. These are then displayed in the festival parade around the town

Modernised versions of the festival continues; as in All Souls Day or the secular Halloween.



Details about the SAMHAIN Parade, Manorhamilton, 2017
Collaboration I - Community Workshop Programme LSC

The Samhain parade in Manorhamilton was a spectacular success involving 300 participants with around 2500 audience lining the streets. Bringing together local school children, artists, parents, teachers, arts and tourist organisations and businesses the festival demonstrated the advantages of the different arts and community sectors of the town working together in a common effort for the benefit of all.

In the four weeks prior to the Day of Parade Leitrim Sculpture Centre, the Bee Park Community Centre and the Glens Centre organised a diverse series of workshops in four local National Primary Schools: St Claire’s, Masterson’s and Gaelscoil in Manorhamilton along with Kiltyclogher National School. The workshop programme formed the foundation of the Samhain parade and was co-ordinated by Dee Armstrong on behalf of LSC.  Involving 200 children working with 12 dedicated local artists each workshop developed a specific art form for the parade including costume, sculpture, music, dance, masks, performance and lighting installation.

The agreed theme for the project was the PÚKA: in Irish mythology and folklore a hobgoblin or mischievous sprite/ spirit able to take on the form of various animals. The shape-shifting, border-defying character of the PÚKA provided the ideal subject for the pupils’ creative talents whilst the Samhain festival itself attracted wider public involvement in this very old rural Celtic tradition.

The Samhain Parade line up included amongst others: Piedro the Scottish Piper; Large Púka Goat, creator Niall Walsh; Kiltyclogher School, animals; Samba Band, Ballyshannon; Farragher Dance group-Witches; Manorhamilton Carers Group - Zombies; McDermott Terrace Group Spiders; St Claire’s School Goblins; St Claire’s School Ravens; Big Raven creator Seamus Dunbar; Taheny Dancers; Mastersons School Mud Masks & Birds; The Mummers Adults/Torches/Musicians; Youth Theatre; Gaelscoil School Small Mummers; Large Hare, creator Anna Macleod; Gaelscoil School, Moths; Mens Group Large Snake & Drummers; St Claire’s School  Angels & Demons; Manorhamilton Youth Rock School.  Added to this many members of the public dressed in costume joined spontaneously in the march.

The project was organised by the Leitrim Sculpture Centre, LSC in association with The Bee Park Community Centre, The Glens Centre and the Hamilton Castle Group, Manorhamilton, and funded by Leitrim County Council as part of the Creative Ireland Programme, 2017-2022