Sunday, June 29, 2014

Blessing of the Boats

I thought I would stick up a little video (very little, only 1:04 mins!), I made today of a beautiful tradition here in my town. The Blessing of the Boats is an old Dingle tradition, and you know I like my traditions!

A local priest, in this case Monsignor Pádraig Ó Fiannachta, goes out on the lifeguard boat, and all the local boats, from small ferries, tour boats, local fishing boats, sail boats, etc, follow out in a flotilla to the mouth of the bay. Mass is said (as Gaelige), and then the boats circle round the lifeboat, while the Monsignor throws holy water, with a small holly berry branch, at the boats. Locals, and visitors are invited to travel on any of the boats out, with donations being asked for the RNLI.

I remember my first time at the Blessing of the Boats, about 12 years ago, my first time living in Dingle, and I thought it was the most wonderful tradition. Back then, mass was said on the pier, to quite a large crowd, and then all the boats in the harbour would make the trip out for the blessing. Sadly, with the decline in the number of fishing families left in Dingle, it was a quieter affair, but beautiful none the less.

Todays Blessing of the Boats, was part of Féile na Mara, a festival celebrating marine tradition in Dingle. It was a lovely day, with a calm sea, even Fungi came out for a little look at what was going on.

A beautiful way to spend the day, and raise much needed funds for the RNLI, who do an incredible service. If you would like to help or donate to the RNLI, visit their website here

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