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Winter Solstice Festival,Smithfield, Dublin,2015

Winter Solstice Festival, Smithfield Square, December 21st 2015

We headed out for an evening filled with colour, rhythm, light & laughter. On to the Luas and across to Smithfield. Generator Hostel to be precise, for the celebrations of the Winter Solstice. In the bar of the hostel the Dublin Winter Solstice Festival 2015 was in full swing. Costumes, Sean Nos dancing, Face Painting, drinking, traditional music, Céilí, people made head dresses for themselves out of ivy and holly. There was storytelling and many rituals and traditions from the olden days were brought back to life. The atmosphere was amazing, there were people from all corners of the globe and it was truly refreshing to witness.

Winter Solstice Festival, event photographer, portrait photographer
People meeting and having the craic over holly and ivy head dress making.
Winter Solstice Festival, event photographer, portrait photographer
Girls dressed up and glowing in the Generator Hostel in Smithfield ahead of the parade to celebrate the Winter Solstice 2015 in Smithfield.
Winter Solstice Festival, event photographer, portrait photographer
People of all nations come together in the Generator Hostel Bar for the festivities

Outside the drummers beat music and rhythm into our ears and into our hearts. Dancers encouraged the crowd to join them in a good boogie and they did. The drums beat louder and faster the crowd loved it and made themselves heard, it was fantastic.

Winter Solstice Festival, event photographer, portrait photographer
Dancers get the crowd motivated outside The Generator Hostel

The proceedings moved to the spot where the ceremonial fire lighting was underway. A huge crowd circled the organisers and as the fire was lit the orange glow began to illuminate everyone around, smoke rose into the air and looking upwards into flags, banners, lanterns and smiling faces on parents shoulders all I could do was smile.

The procession began and was headed by two men blowing horns as they guided the fire bearers around the square. Ahead of all this was the multitudes of photographers and videographers both professional and amateur all trying to get their best footage and photos just like I was.

Winter Solstice Festival, event photographer, portrait photographer
Men carrying the open flame around Smithfield Square
Winter Solstice Festival, event photographer, portrait photographer
The procession makes it’s way along Smithfield Square flanked by onlookers, cameramen and amateur paparazzi on their phones.

The Fire made it’s way back to the spot where it had all began and people were invited to step forward with their withy and toss them into the flames. Withy ware wishes written on cards and put on small sticks. It was a magical experience with the heartbeat of the drums in the dark, the ceremonial lighting of the fire, the lights, the costumes, the smiling faces all on a cold, dark and windy Winter Solstice Festival in Smithfield Square, Dublin in 2015. Bring on the light..

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Winter Solstice Festival, event photographer, portrait photographer
People approach the ceremonial fire to burn Withy they had created earlier in the evening

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