Inishowen Together is planning a festival for leap week, February 2020
Building on the success of 2019’s Middle Eastern Festival, Inishowen Together is planning a festival for leap week, February 2020, that will celebrate the cultures and traditions on the peninsula that have been passed down through the generations – among residents old and new. And in order for it to be a joyous success, we need your input!
Leap Day (and week!) is probably the perfect time for a festival to celebrate all of our cultural traditions. The old-fashioned custom of women being allowed to propose marriage only on Leap Day originates in Ireland – and the wider world is full of unusual February 29 customs.
For instance, in Denmark, if a woman’s Leap Day proposal is refused, the man must buy her 12 pairs of gloves; in Finland the penalty is providing enough fabric for a new skirt. A tradition in Taiwan is that a married daughter should visit her parents in leap month with a gift of pig trotter noodles, for health and luck – since it is thought that parents are more likely to die in a leap year.
There is a rich tapestry of traditions from near and far in the Inishowen community and the organisers want to bring all of them to the fore as part of Intercultural Leap, which will take place from February 27-29 in venues around Carndonagh.
You might have someone in your family who carries ‘the cure’; a weaver or maker; a storyteller; someone who makes the perfect poitín or mescal or who keeps alive a recipe or a song that has been passed down through hundreds of years.
They want to hear about the heritage of everyone who is resident there, and to learn about all the skills, stories and histories that make up Inishowen today.
"We want your input, whether your family has lived in Inishowen for centuries, or you have more recently come to call this home – having arrived from elsewhere in Ireland, from the Phillipines, Mexico, Nigeria, Poland, Lithuania, the Netherlands, England…everywhere.
"Our plans for the festival include a pop-up museum of cultural artefacts; a programme of workshops, children’s events, talks, demos and displays; an intercultural Pecha Kucha evening; plus – the grand finale – The Leap Night Intercultural Celebration with food and entertainment," the spokesperson added
Please get in touch by February 3 to get involved:
- If you have a cultural object or memory that has been passed down through generations that you would like to share for display in the pop-up museum… (e.g. lacework; old music recording or writing; artwork or a photograph with a story; traditional clothing etc)
- If you have an idea for a workshop on traditional crafts or skills…
- If you'd like to give a short Pecha Kucha presentation/talk about some aspect of your culture…
- If you’d like to propose a traditional cookery demonstration…
- If you have ideas of your own – eg for musical performance, storytelling and for bringing a traditional dish to the Leap Night party.
- Or if you’d like to volunteer to help out at festival events.
You can contact the festival on firstname.lastname@example.org
The organisers say they’re looking forward to a leap week to remember in Inishowen
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