Hill of Ward
The Hill of Ward or Tlachtga in the Native Irish language is located 12 miles from the hill of Tara in County Meath. The earthworks around the hill of ward are about 150 meters (492 feet) in diameter and when seen from the air look amazing. Tlachtga dates back to 200 AD this was the location where the Great Fire Festival began on the eve of Samhain (the night of the 1st of November)
The festival would go on for several days and celebrated the Celtic God Lugh. Lugh symbolizes prophecy, reincarnation, healing, and revenge. The site got its name from Tlachtga the daughter of a powerful druid Mug Ruith whose daughter died there giving birth to triplets. Tlachtga is seen perfectly from the Hill of Tara and the fire lit on the night of Samhain was a prelude to the Samhain Festival at the Hill of Tara.
With the inevitable coming of Christianity the festival was eventfully incorporated into the Christian calendar as a time to remember all the lost holy souls in this way the Samhain festival retained its relevance. The customs of Samhain that did not fit into Christianity survived as Halloween. In the 19th Century Irish emigrants carried this tradition over to North America and is now virtually celebrated all over the world.
The festival of Samhain marked the beginning of the Celtic New Year and was also the great festival of the dead. The winter fires were set alight when the sun went down on the night of Samhain (1st November)
The earthworks seen on the Hill of Ward represent the last phase of development 2000 years ago. When the hill was excavated the remains of older barrows tombs were found this suggests that the hill was the centre of ritual activity long before the arrival of the Celts