The Heritage Council is inviting people, heritage organisations and community groups to register and undertake projects on the natural, built and cultural heritage that culminate during Heritage Week.
Heritage takes place from Saturday, August 15 to Sunday, August 23.
This year’s theme is ‘Heritage and Education: Learning from Our Heritage’ and people are being encouraged to investigate the heritage on their doorstep, to learn a traditional skill or to explore the heritage of education.
Online registration of projects is now open on the Heritage Week website, www.heritageweek.ie, and all projects registered for Heritage Week will be considered for the National Heritage Week Awards.
The Heritage Officer for Donegal County Council, Joseph Gallagher said: “National Heritage Week will be different this year. The engagement by people, heritage organisations and community groups in Heritage Week in County Donegal has always been impressive.
"Although the format of Heritage Week has changed this year due to restrictions in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the new approach encourages people to share their experience of, and knowledge about, their local heritage.
"Once people register projects on the Heritage Week website, they will have access to a variety of on-line resources to support projects which will assist people with undertaking research, presenting projects, recording video and audio, making a podcast, hosting virtual events and running social media campaigns.”
Three broad sub-themes have been identified for projects under the overall theme of 'Learning from Our Heritage,' they are:
Heritage on your doorstep including projects to research and collect local knowledge about an archaeological monument, landmark building, heritage site, local customs or traditions, landscape features or stories from the local community. Share or re-learn a traditional skill including projects that explore forgotten or overlooked skills with a view to sharing them among younger generations such as crafts, skills or trades that a community was previously well-known for; investigate traditional remedies unique to a locality which were used to treat common aches and pains; and research traditional food recipes, preparation or preservation methods throughout the ages.
The heritage of education including projects exploring the history of an old school; investigating the 1930s Schools’ Folklore Collection; better understanding the role of a local hedge school or monastic settlement; and interrogating how the experience of going to school has evolved over time.
"During lockdown, many people around the country – in both rural and urban environments – have developed a greater appreciation for their immediate surroundings," said Michael Parsons, Chairman of The Heritage Council.
"The restrictions have caused us to reconnect with, and reconsider what can be found in our immediate locality, from noticing birds and birdsong, and changing patterns among plants and wildlife as spring became summer, to local built heritage and monuments. Others have returned to traditional skills, be that baking, growing fruit and vegetables or handcrafts, like knitting and embroidery. National Heritage Week, and particular this year’s theme of 'Heritage and Education: Learning from our Heritage' offers a chance to build on this renewed interest, by exchanging skills and knowledge in a community; exploring something new or diving deeper into the story behind something you may have recently discovered; or working as a family to renew a skill. I encourage everyone with an interest, enthusiasm or expertise in any facet of our rich heritage to consider putting together and submitting a project for National Heritage Week, and sharing it with our wider national community."
Heritage projects can be showcased during National Heritage Week by means such as online talks, exhibitions, videos, podcasts, slideshow presentations, blogs, media coverage, dedicated websites, social media coverage or small, restricted social gatherings that comply with official public health advice.
National Heritage Week is coordinated by The Heritage Council and Local Authority Heritage Officers with support from the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Fáilte Ireland.
The aim of National Heritage Week is to build heritage awareness and appreciation while shining a light on the great work that is carried out in all communities in Ireland to preserve, conserve and promote our natural, built and cultural heritage.
National Heritage Week is part of European Heritage Days, a joint initiative of the Council of Europe and the European Union in which over forty countries participate each year.
Further information on how to get involved in National Heritage Week is available online at www.heritageweek.ie, via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 1850 200 878.
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