19 thoughts on “Bonfire Night

  1. I posted about it in 2002 when I thought it was a Cork-only thing, and found a few interesting bits too. It looks like it’s got something to do with “St. John’s Eve” but then I’m sure the reason for the occasion is lost on all the young lads burning tyres and timber and worse!

  2. We still celebrate Bonfire night around Galway but we don’t burn tyres anymore! I havent been to one for years because I live in Dublin now but it is always on St John’s night.

  3. Donncha, when I was in school my teacher who was from the West of Ireland in one of the Gaelteachts was amazed when we told him that it happened elsewhere not just the Gaelteachts

  4. I lived in Cork until 1960 and attended bonfire night every year as a boy.

    We burned logs and turf mainly and the aroma of the burning turf always remained with me.

    That is why I have now got a web site called Irish Incense.

  5. St John’s night and bonfire is celebrated on the east coast of Spain. This fiesta is celebrated on the beaches of the Alicante and Valencian coast. It is a family celebration and also related to the midsummer night. The fires can be seen all along the coast and are quiet spectacular.

  6. we always burn things on the 11th of july in the north, generally tyres and pallets so no nice aroma unfortunately

  7. Here in Ennistymon we have always had a bonfire in the market square – but not this year,as the Clare County Council have resurfaced the area. It would be quite easy to provide a bed of sand to protect the tarmac, but no, nobody will do it because they are afraid of being held responsible for any injury claims.
    So, a tradition is lost. If a colonial power were to do the same, we would resist. But of course I have never seen a “professional” person at a bonfire.

  8. We were jusst talking about this at home. There are still bonfires held in Mayo although my Dublin friends have never even heard of this custom.

  9. Hmmmm…Bonfire night sounds really cool. Never been to one, at least not in Ireland (I am American by birth).

    Sounds to me like a leftover from the days of Stonehenge!

  10. I am living in Leeds, England and yesterday they celebrated Guy Fawkes night. I know the history behind this occasion.

    Given that I am a proud Irishman and also the fact that I do not know! I would like to know the reason why we celebrate bonfire night back home in Ireland. Can anyone tell me?

    I am aware that we have bonfire night on the same date or for the same reason.


  11. Its a mix between the summer solsice and St johns eve.Twas a pagan ritual and then it coincided with a christian holiday so the tradition lives on. Either way bonna nite is is great fun. Nothing like a roaring fire to get people in good spirits.

  12. I come from Tuair Mhic Eide in Mayo and we also had a very strong tradition
    of bonfires on June 23rd , when as many neighbours as possible collected wood and mainly whin bushes (furze) and a huge fire would be lit in an open safe place. The more senior people would oversee the safety aspects. Prayers would be said in a well practised manner and ashes from the fire scattered on the crops ,sometimes bones along with the ashes were thrown into fields to encourage fertility and a full Harvest. I”m interested in any similar traditions in the South as i”m putting togather a Potato Festival along with other people in Kilbehenny.


  13. Hi. We are having our usual bonfire tonight in Ennistymon, Co. Clare. Great fun….but a bit quiet some years. The County Council tried to snuf it out(!) on the pretext that the tarmac would be damaged. Now there is a circle of conctete blocks infilled with sand. It’s important that we keep continuity with the past, before it was corrupted by the most recent religion. Fire worship goes way back and is at the centre of Zoroastrian religion, on which Judaish Christianity, Islam etc. are based They (he….Zoro)- about two and a half thousand years ago – were the first to think up the concept of deistic duality , of Good v Evil. Darkness v Light. God V Satan. etc. Their ceremony was held at night around a stone altar on which was a burning fire. People drank a drink called Homa, which is reconned to have been a stew of wine, honey and marihuana. If that were abopted today, Mass attendance would shoot up! When Christian priests hold up the monstrance to the Eastern window of the Church, they are continueing Light or Sun worship, you will see the Suns rays coming fron the monstrance. Robert.

  14. The bonfires were traditionally to celebrate mid-summer. Fire has always been celebrated as I said in my previous post. It’s just a bit of fun to sit or dance around a fire. I recon that a little alcohol helps. In the name of the envoirnment, it is considered not to be PC to have outdoor fun. It is illegal in Ireland to drink alcohol in public. Does that mean that the thousands of people who attend Fleadhs are to be criminalised. The same applies to fireworks. Should a young person be criminalised for having a firework in Monaghan, but not in Armagh? If a law is not respected by the convention of the majority of the citizens…..it should be dropped.

  15. We have always lit a bonfir every year in June since we were kids. Its soething to do with St John seemingly. A Guy Called Davy Laing Does The Best Bonfires In Cork

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