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Pastimes | Past Times – 10 Heritage Week events that answer the 2019 theme

This year the theme for National Heritage Week is Pastimes | Past Times. This theme gives a unique look at how our ancestors spent their time, from medieval battle to Victorian fern collecting, and everything in between. See how these pastimes have changed over time, or in some cases, how they have not changed at all.

Come along to Heritage Week 2019 and immerse yourself in a fascinating look at the past.

1. Themed Tour: Pastimes in Past Times in the National Botanical Gardens, Dublin

Take a themed tour through the National Botanical Gardens in Glasnevin Dublin and discover the plants our ancestors used for weaving. Check out how the Victorian craze of fern-collecting affected the fern fields of Ireland. See what sort of things people from Ireland past collected in their gardens. The tour, which runs on Saturday, 17th and Saturday, 24th August from 2.30pm to 4pm, will be a fascinating look at plant-related hobbies and pastimes in times past. Further details are available here.

2. 18th and 19th Century Pastimes at Maynooth University’s Russell Library, Co Kildare

The Russell Library at Maynooth University will host an exciting exhibition from its 18th and 19th century collections. This exhibition will feature a number of different pastimes including travel, painting, art, drawing, craftsmanship, pottery and sewing. Tours will take place on Monday 19th, Wednesday 21st, and Thursday 22nd August from 10am to 5pm. This promises to be an excellent opportunity to see some of the libraries special collection. Further details are available here.

3. Play like a Viking at Kerry County Museum

Would you like to partake in a Viking Hnefatafl tournament, play Nine Men's Morris and find out all about toys and games in the Middle Ages? Be a Wild Child and play like a Viking at Kerry County Museum. This fun, and interactive, event for kids will embrace their wild side allowing them to learn about our most fierce ancestors. The event will take place on Wednesday, 21st August from 10am to 4pm. Further details are available here.

4. Traditional Craft Demonstrations in Gavin Duffy Park, Co Monaghan

Step back in time and enjoy all the old traditional skills including stone masonry, carrick lace, glass making, basket weaving, story-telling and blacksmithing. This is an excellent opportunity to see these skills in action and experience a first-hand look at what kept our ancestors busy. Demonstrations will take place on Thursday, 22nd August from 10am to 4pm in the Gavin Duffy Park, Monaghan. Further details are available here.

5. Irish History Live Show in Co Laois

Explore history in a fun and interactive show with historian Michael Moylan. This hugely entertaining show will bring to life the Middle Ages, the Vikings and the Normans. Children can participate in the show using period costume, weapons and artefacts. The show will take place on Wednesday, 21st August from 12.30pm to 1.30pm and promises be a fun afternoon for everyone. Further details are available here.

6. Ogham Workshop at Knowth, Co Meath

Did you know that ogham inscriptions are found in both the Eastern and Western tombs at Knowth? Have a go at writing in the ogham script on the 3D blackboard and enjoy a great interactive experience for the whole family, set against the wonderful backdrop of one of Ireland’s most magical historical sites. The workshop will take place on Sunday, 25th August from 2pm to 4pm. Further details are available here.

7. Dancing at the Crossroads in Co Waterford

Dancing at the crossroads was a very popular social past time in Ireland up to the 1950's. This event, to be held in the garden of Nell's Farm House, will re-enact the dancing at the crossroads. The programme will include set dances, line dances and waltzes. Guests will be invited to sing or tell a story and to enter into the spirit of the times by dressing for the era. Make sure you bring your dancing shoes for this event, which take place on Saturday, 17th August from 8pm to 10.30pm. Further details are available here.

8. Warriors & Hurlers Children’s Event at Croke Park, Dublin

On this access all areas tour of Croke Park, young GAA fans will get a chance to follow in the footsteps of their sporting heroes, whilst also learning about Ireland’s greatest hurler, legend and warrior, Cú Chulainn, in a special, hands-on ‘Warriors and Hurlers’ workshop. Recommended for 7-10-year-olds, this event will present a great mix of history and sport which is sure to be great fun for all. The tour takes place on Wednesday, 21st August from 11.30am to 1.30pm. Further details are available here.

9. Heritage Live at Dún na Sí Amenity and Heritage Park, Co Westmeath

Leave the modern world behind and join this event at Dún na Sí as they bring heritage buildings and attractions to life, with real people living and working as they would have in rural Ireland. Watch as some of the forgotten skills of Ireland long ago are recreated. This family friendly, day-long event takes place on Tuesday, 20th August from 10am to 5pm. Further details are available here.

10. Sailors, Smugglers and Yeats at Rosses Point, Sligo

A guided walk through Rosses Point listening to stories and lore about its maritime tradition. Hear all about the activities of smuggler John Black and the influence of the village on the art and writings of the Yeats family. A great event, sure to appeal to the sailors, smugglers and writers in all of us. The walk commences at 3pm on Sunday, 18th August from the meeting point at Harry's Bar, Rosses Point. Further details are available here.

National Heritage Week will take place from 17th – 25th August 2019 with a wide array of events happening across Ireland, come and see what's on near you.

Cover photo courtesy of the National Botanical Gardens.