Each year, as part of a joint initiative, the Council of Europe and the European Union organise a series of European Heritage Days. Over forty countries participate. The goals of European Heritage Days are to promote awareness of Europe’s built, natural, cultural heritage, to build awareness and education and to promote Europe’s common cultural heritage.
In Ireland, European Heritage Days will take place in Dublin from 20th to 28th August, and is organised by the Heritage Council in conjunction with the Department of Environment, Heritage, and Local Government. The Heritage Council believes that the Heritage week encourages the conservation and preservation of Irish heritage.
Several national organisations and hundreds of local community organisations create events throughout their countries, many of which are free. National Heritage Week sets out to deliver messages and events that are positive, engaging, educational, and relevant to people’s daily lives. Any person or group that promotes some aspect of Irish heritage is invited to take part.
The events included in National Heritage Week are medieval fairs, night-time bat walks, wildlife walks and lectures, classical music and poetry recitals, traditional music sessions, storytelling, historical re-enactments, local history walks and talks, and maritime and coastal events. Many heritage sites and stately homes also offer free or discounted admission.
Events specific to Dublin include a falconry demonstration at Rathwood Falconry, a guided nature walk along Dublin’s rocky seashore, a tour of the Farmleigh House and Estate, and a traditional music concert at St. Audeons Church. Dublin also hosts a photo contest for both adults and children. Hidden Irelands is holding a contest for a £500 voucher for a stay in one of their properties.
There are over 1,000 separate events at Heritage Weeks all over Europe. With 500 events scheduled in Dublin, there’s sure to be plenty of activities to interest all ages. It’s a great way to celebrate and preserve Irish culture and if you are planning on visiting the city and need a hotel, check out the Jurys Inn range of hotels in Dublin.