May is upon us again agus ta cead mile failte roimhe. The Summer is beginning to show itself with a good brightness in the evening sky ‘til nine and temperatures increasing overall. Yes, most people are glad to see the end of these long dreary nights and to arrive after the promise of Spring at the season’s portal of long and lingering Summer evenings –its warmth so needed to replenish both body and soul.
Around this time for the past few years, I remind readers that the Bealtaine Festival based at our local library is on its way. Each year in recent times the excellent Waterford City Library Service spearheads the Bealtaine Festival events in the month of May, as the name suggests. It is now more of a national movement or flowering. It is the Irish national arts festival celebrating creativity in the older age. In this upcoming May- based festival which takes place on a nationwide basis hundreds of different events are undertaken in every art form. Taking its name from the ancient Celtic festival it celebrates springtime, renewal, creativity and growth in ageing. In your local Ardkeen library there is a full programme throughout the month from art classes to gardening to creative writing, to internet sessions to alternative therapies and more besides. As we said above Bealtaine is the national festival celebrating creativity in older age. Over 55,000 people took part in Bealtaine in 2009, making it one of Ireland’s biggest arts festivals. From dance to cinema, painting to theatre, Bealtaine showcases the talents and skills of both established and first-time older artists and performers- the Bealtaine Babes, as I call them! It is a chance to make new and challenging work, a chance to communicate traditions between the generations, a chance to delve a little deeper into a new area of understanding. Bealtaine creates the space to discover talents until now unseen. Check out www.ardkeen.ie or your local press for full details of this year’s packed programme. Slan.