LUXe presents… Our signature fire parade
The fire parade at Festival of the Fires is the brainchild of one of the most creative and imaginative arts groups working in Ireland today – LUXe.
LUXe are an award winning processional spectacle company directed by Mark Hill and Mandy Blinco who have drawn to their company many of the countries finest street and circus performers. Their passion is to bring their unique decorative style of sensory, multi layered spectacle to communities throughout Ireland and internationally.
LUXe use their making skills to create beautifully detailed and decorative costume, images and illuminated mechanical and inflatable sculpture they engage with a variety of performers, dancers and musicians to create unique spectacle that can be shaped to and presented in any environment. They operate nationally and internationally but maintain workshops at their home in Donegal.
Last year’s parade was an incredible spectacle, and Mandy and Mark have pulled out all the stops to ensure that this year’s parade will be talked about for many years to come.
Festival goers are all welcome to participate in the parade, and there are a number of ways they can do this.
Fire Decoration Stall
During the day Festivalgoers will have the opportunity to place a personal intention for the full bloom of their private wishes on the unlit fire as the Ancient Peoples would have done. The Fire Decoration Stall will be located in the Holistic Area and LUXe staff will be on hand to help everyone create their ‘Burla Ghuí’ Prayer bundle. These may be origami flowers with writing or flower posies or woven reeds into corn dolly figures. In this way there is a strong link during the day of the Festival between the festivalgoers and the Fire itself as excitement builds and people begin to be orientated as to where the Fire Parade will be leading to later on. The invitation is to walk up the Hill to the unlit Fire to place their offering in between the branches and twigs of the Fire. In this way everyone has the opportunity to take part at a very personal private level with the Fire in keeping with the ways of our forefathers and mothers.
THE FIRE PARADE
The Sacred Site of Uisneach, at the navel of Ireland drew people from the 4 provinces to this the 5th and magical centre of our island home. The Parade will feature the 4 Tuatha or Tribes with a High King from Ulster and Munster and a High Queen from Connacht and Leinster. Their elaborate costumes will feature the provincial colours of Red/Munster, White/Ulster, Blue/Leinster & Green/Connacht which the festial goers will immediately recognise and understand that they are watching the Gathering of the Tribes at the start of the Fire Parade. The 4 children who will light the Fire will be one with each tribe and be under the care of the King/Queen. Hundreds of participants will follow, and we are inviting all festival goers to take part. You can be dressed, have your face painted or grab an instrument or help pull a float by going to the Arts & Crafts Area throughout the day to report to the LUXe tents.
LIGHTING OF THE FIRE
At the signal from the High King of Uisneach sounding his horn each King and Queen will step forward with the Tribal child and watch over as they take the fire from the flaming braziers (handed by the King/Queen). . The Fire Performers and the Drummers continue to build up the momentum as the Fire begins to blaze.
SENDING THE FIRE TO THE 4 CORNERS OF IRELAND
Uisneach Warriors will be handed the flaming torches to ride off down the Hill to symbolise the carrying of Bealtaine’s Sacred Fire from the Site of Uisneach to the rest of the land including the Hill of Tara, Slane, Loughcrew and the 4 provinces. All around, fires on nearby hills will be ignited and throughout the country signal fires will be lit in response to the main Uisneach fire.
CHEERING THE FIRE
The Drummers walk around the inner circle followed by the Parade members and encourage the crowd to whoop and holler and clap as the Fire burns brightly symbolising the abundance and fertility of Summer and the generousity of Mother Earth for another year.
RETURN OF THE PARADE
The Fire Perfomers, Drummers and Tribes will lead festival goers back down the Hill to the main arena where The Saw Doctors will close the main stage, Laim O’Maonlai agus Ronan O’Snodaigh will close the Button Factory stage and some very special guests will close Natasha’s stage. The heritage stage will be closed by local traditional musicians.