Rock Farm Slane is located in the home of Halloween – County Meath. As part of our seasonal celebration and school holidays we are delighted to offer family accommodation packages that include onsite workshops, local tours and family tickets to local attractions.
Hill of Ward (Tlachtga), County Meath – The Birthplace of Halloween
Samhain, the ancient Celtic Festival that we now call Halloween, originated here in Co. Meath more than 2,000 years ago. Samhain marks the end of the old Celtic Year and the beginning of the New Year. The Celts believed that this was a time of transition, when the veil between our world and the next came down, and the spirits of all who had died since the last Oíche Shamhna (Night of Samhain) moved on to the next life.
One of the main spiritual centres of the ancient Celts was located on top of the hill of Tlachtga, now called the Hill of Ward, near Athboy, Co. Meath. The druids felt that this world and the otherworld were closest at Tlachtga and it was here that the festival of Samhain, or Halloween, was started. The old year’s fires were extinguished and, after sunset, the ceremonial New Year Samhain fire was lit here. Torches were lit from this sacred fire and carried to seven other hills around the county including Tara and Loughcrew, and then on to light up the whole countryside.
Today, the old Celtic ceremony at Tlachtga has been revived and we mix the ancient past and the twenty-first century with a re-enactment of the Celtic celebration starting with a torchlit procession from the Fair Green in Athboy, Co. Meath to the top of the Hill of Tlachtga, at 7.30pm on October 31st each year.