|Macnas 2016 Parade - music, costumes, giant puppets, |
folk on stilts, acting, dancing -- what Craic!
They say in Galway that the Halloween celebrations started in Ireland. It spread to the States with the people escaping from the potato famine. Like so many things, American Halloween celebrations -- through the influence of TV, films, and folk returning to Ireland -- have come back to influence how the event is celebrated in the 21st century. For instance, we first lived in Ireland for the year in 1999/2000 , and tThen the majority of children who came to our place were dressed as ghosts and ghouls. This Halloween, the costumes are closer to the ones we'd see back home: more superheroes, Disney characters, princesses, rock guys and gals, etc. than we saw in 1999. Also, like at home, kids are much less likely now to trick or treat on their own, without a parental chaperone.
One thing that makes Galway, Galway, is how much Galwegians enjoy "the Craic" -- pronounced "the crack". It refers to fun-loving people getting together to have a good time with friends, perhaps at a special event. That is why a wonderful, community-based puppet/parade company has thrived here for the last 30 years. This Galway-based, non-profit street theater group puts on huge, elaborate parades that incorporate music, drumming, dance, and giant, human-powered puppets. Its parades are so wonderful that the group (Macnas) has been invited to perform in many places in the world. The Halloween-themed Macnas parade celebrating its 30th anniversary was a truly wonderful spectacle. But the spectacle did not stop with the Macnas performers. Many of the individuals and families who packed the streets to watch the parade also dressed in wonderful, elaborate costumes of their own. Craic indeed. And even though we were only visitors (and not dressed for the occasion), we loved it.
We got a lot of fantastic images of the event, and I might paint something this year based on what we saw. Periodically check on this blog or my website for the work I produce this year.