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Ballycastle Beach Reviews
Lovely beach to take a stroll along, it goes for miles. Beautiful views. Sandy to build sandcastles. Car parking is easy and nearby. more »
This is a pretty beach on the North Irish coast. As the day we were there in June was chilly there would no swimming, :) but the walk about the beach was beautiful. more »
This is a beautiful beach and a beautiful place . The lamus fair is amazing. The Ould Lammas Fair takes place in Ballycastle, Co. Antrim on the last Monday and Tuesday in August. It's one of the oldest fairs in Ireland and has been held without interruption for more than three centuries. It once took place at Dunanyie Head, now known as Castle Point. Some say that it started out as a sheep market, others that it originated when Sorley Boy MacDonnell ordered a celebration for his nephew. Either way it grew and migrated to Ballycastle. Whether or not today's event is because Sorley Boy ordered it up, Lammastide celebrations have a long history in Ireland. The name of Lammas originated from the 'Feast of Lughnasadh' or Lugh. In Irish legend, Lugh was a Sun God who had a mortal foster-mother named Tailtiu. She was a queen or princess of the Firbolgs - Men of Bags. These early inhabitants of Ireland are said to have come from Greece or Spain where they were put into servitude and forced to carry soil from the fertile plains to the higher ground. To do this, they devised leather bags which they later used to build boats and escape from their enslavement. The Firbolg lived in Ireland until they were conquered and ruled by the people of Dana (Tuatha de Danna). According to legend, the Dana forced Tailtiu to clear a large area of woodland for the planting of grain and she died of exhaustion. She was buried under a great mound which was called the ‘Hill of Tailtiu’ and Lugh instructed that each year a festival should be held to commemorate his foster-mother’s death and that there should be games and feasting on the first fruits of the harvest. Throughout ancient Irish history, one will find references to the ‘Tailthiu Games’ and the ‘Games of Lugh’. However, with the arrival of Christianity, the old pagan festival was modified and adapted to suit the teachings of the church. The name was changed to Lammas which means ‘loaf mass’ and this was reflected in the custom of placing loaves of bread baked from the first harvest grains on the church altar. In the middle ages there are frequent historical references to Lammastide when craft fairs and pageants would be held. It is also thought to have been around this time when the feast of St. Catherine was celebrated, which gave rise to the term 'Catherine Wheel.' This originated in pagan worship when a wagon wheel would be tarred, taken to the top of a hill, set on fire and then rolled down, symbolizing the decline of the Sun God at the Autumn Equinox. It is well known that the Catholic Church was never comfortable with St. Catherine. Tied so closely as she was with myths, mystics and the old beliefs, they changed her day of celebration many times and at one point, even tried to de–saint her. Today’s Lammastide is a time when thousands of visitors invade Ballycastle. While there's always a good crowd, if the fair is blessed with fine weather, one can expect miles of tailbacks (traffic jams) around the seaside town as families flock to enjoy the festivities. Within the town, streets are lined with more than 400 stalls selling a wide variety of goods, from livestock to painted scrolls. But the busiest trade is always at the stalls offering the traditional Lammas treats of Yellow Man, a sticky honeycomb toffee; and Dulse, a reddish sea weed of the variety ‘palmaria palmata’ which has long been eaten and also used in medicine by the Irish - especially in the north. For the fair, it's collected from the nearby shores, dried out until it's crisp, and then packaged in bags for sale.
Bracing in winter, probably much nicer in summer.
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