Irish Puck Fair: Any tie to the Day of Atonement?


August 10th marks the beginning of a three-day festival called the Irish Puck Fair. A reader sent me the following:

August 10, 2016

The fair, which crowns a goat as king for three days before dethroning him, will run from August 10 to August 12.

The fair is over 400 years old and is worth an estimated £4.9m (€7m) to the town each year. But what else do you know about the fair?

1. Oldest of the lot

The festival, which originated in 1613, is Ireland’s oldest ‘Gathering Festival’. According to the official website the origins of this famous festival date back to William Cromwell. …

4. Gathering Day

The first day of proceedings is known as the ‘Gathering Day’, which is called as such to welcome people to the festival, a wild male mountain goat is paraded through the town to the welcome of the large crowd.

5. Scattering Day

On the evening of the third day known as the ‘Scattering Day’ due to the amount of different nationalities that descend on Killorglin, the king of the fair is dethroned and becomes a mere goat once again. The goat is paraded through the streets before he is let loose in the mountains of Kerry once again.

Puck Fair is one of Ireland’s oldest festivals, celebrating almost 400 years of documented evidence. The first day of Puck Fair is called The Gathering Day which makes Puck Fair the original and oldest Gathering Festival in Ireland.

“The word Puck comes from the Irish, puc, for billy goat (buck or he-goat, i.e. male goat).”

For hundreds of years, a male mountain goat has been enthroned as King of Puck Fair in Killorglin town. The Puck Goat reigns over the fair held on August 10th, 11th and 12th of each year. King Puck is a symbol of a vast tradition whose origins are lost in the mists of time.

The first day of Puck Fair is known as “Gathering Day.” The Puck Goat is enthroned on a stand in the town square and the great horse fair is held. The middle day is known as “Fair Day.” This is the day of the cattle fair and general festivities. The last day is known as “Scattering Day” when the brief reign of Ireland’s only King is ended and the Puck Goat is returned once more to his mountain home.

This Sculpture was unveiled on the 5th day of August, 2001 in commemoration of the enduring Killorglin tradition of “Puck Fair” and its central figure King Puck.

During the festival an estimated 80,000 people will visit the town, which rises over the river Laune. Late bars, music on the streets, Irish dancing, stalls and traditional horse and cattle fairs are part of the annual mix.

Puck Fair’s origins are believed to go well beyond 400 years ago but the first written reference is a charter from James I in 1613 which grants Jenkins Conway, the local landlord at the time, the right to collect a sum for every animal brought to the August fair held in the town. “This would suggest that the fair was something already well established in the local community,” a spokesman said.

Pat Cahill and John McGrath at Dingle Bay in Co Kerry with the captured wild mountain goat that will be crowned King Puck.

Puck Fair is one of the only places, and times, of the year in Ireland that the pubs are allowed to stay open till three in the morning. At the end of it all, the king is dethroned (in a nice way) and returned to the wild to rejoin his comrades on the foothills of Ireland’s highest mountain.

The reader that sent the above commented:

Its very likely that this ancient Irish festival had its origin with the Hebrew Azazel “scapegoat” of the Day of Atonement fall festival. (email 10/04/14)

Notice something else about it:

The Puck Fair (Irish: Aonach an Phoic, meaning “Fair of the He-Goat”, ‘poc’ being the Irish for a male goat) is reputed to be one of Ireland’s oldest fairs which takes place annually for three days beginning on the 10th of August. The festival itself takes place in Killorglin, County Kerry.

Scholars speculate that the fair’s origins stems from Pre-Christian Ireland (Puck Fair. Wikipedia, viewed 10/04/14)

The fact that its origins are believed by some to be prior to the time of Jesus and that it starts on the 10th of the month is interesting as the Day of Atonement is held on the 10th day of the seventh month on the Hebrew calendar (Leviticus 23:26-27).

There seem to be other similarities. The biblical Holy Days are ‘gathering days’ in a sense that a holy convocation is commanded. Notice the one for the Day of Atonement:

26 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 27 “Also the tenth day of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement. It shall be a holy convocation for you … (Leviticus 23:26-27)

Also, on the Day of Atonement, the Azaze;/scapegoat is released into the wilderness and on “Scattering Day” the Puck goat is loosed into the wilderness. The fact that both the Day of Atonement and the Puck Fair begin on the tenth day of a month is also interesting.

As descendants of Israel did end up in the British Isles (see Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel), this Puck Fair could be a twisted version of the Day of Atonement ceremony that ancient Israel had. The Irish seem to honor the ‘Azazel’ goat (Leviticus 16:8-10, YLT) and have a drinking holiday.

Sadly, many of the biblical Holy Days are either ignored or have been improperly changed (see also Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays?).

The Bible teaches that Satan is ‘the god of this age’ who has ‘blinded’ the ‘minds’ of many (2 Corinthians 4:4) and is now a type of king (Matthew 4:8-9), though he will lose what he has (Revelation 11:15; 20:1-4). Apparently the Irish festival is intended to honor him, though probably unintentionally by the participants (2 Corinthians 4:4).

In 2016, the Day of Atonement lasts from sunset October 11th until sunset October 12th. It is a day of afflicting one’s soul (Leviticus 23:26-27). Fasting (cf. Isaiah 58:5; Leviticus 23:26-27), not drinking in bars, is what the Bible advocates for it.

Those who have more interest may wish to study the following items:

Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, English, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo-Saxon (non-Dutch) Southern Africans, and New Zealanders descendants of Joseph? Where are the lost ten-tribes of Israel? Who are the lost tribes of Israel? What will happen to Jerusalem and the Jews in Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo-Saxon nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first? Here is a link to the Spanish version of this article: Anglo-América & las Tribus Perdidas de Israel. Information is also in the YouTube sermons titled Where are the Ten Lost Tribes? Why does it matter? and British are the Covenant People. A short YouTube of prophetic interest may be Barack Obama and the State of the Apocalypse.
Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays? This is a free pdf booklet explaining what the Bible and history shows about God’s Holy Days and popular holidays.
The Day of Atonement–Its Christian Significance The Jews call it Yom Kippur, Christians “The Day of Atonement.” Does it have any relevance for Christians today? What is the Jubilee? Is fasting healthy? Here is a link to a sermon: Day of Atonement: How Jesus fulfilled His part for the Atonement. Here is a link to a related article in the Spanish language: El Día de Expiación –Su significado cristiano.
The Atonement Plan How does the Day of Atonement tie into God’s plan of salvation? A sermon of related interest is titled God’s Atonement Plan.
Atonement Offertory Should an offering be taken up on the Day of Atonement? What does the Bible seem to teach about that? Was Jesus a type of atonement offering? If you send an offering, how does that support the work? Does God need your money or do you need to give? Dr. Thiel goes over scriptures and facts related to this. Here is a link to the donation page of the Continuing Church of God, which includes the ability to use PayPal:
Michael’s Feasts and Fasts Quiz 15 questions, amusing wrong answer screens.
Michael’s Day of Atonement Quiz Another free on-line Bible quiz by my son Michael.
Michael’s Feasts and Fasts Quiz 15 questions, amusing wrong answer screens.
Importance of Fasting An old article by Herbert W. Armstrong on this subject. Here is a link to it in Mandarin Chinese 禁食的重要性.
Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible? This paper provides a biblical and historical critique of several articles, including one by the Tkach WCG which states that this should be a local decision. What do the Holy Days mean? Also you can click here for the calendar of Holy Days. (Here is a related link in Spanish/español: Calendario Anual de Adoración –Una crítica basada en la Biblia y en la Historia: ¿Hay un Calendario Anual de Adoración en la Biblia?
Did Early Christians Observe the Fall Holy Days? The ‘Fall’ Holy Days come every year in September and/or October on the Roman calendar. Some call them Jewish holidays, but they were kept by Jesus, the apostles, and their early faithful followers. Should you keep them? What does the Bible teach? What do records of church history teach? What does the Bible teach about the Feasts of Trumpets, Atonement, Tabernacles, and the Last Great Day? Here is a link to a related sermon: Should you keep the Fall Holy Days?
The Book of Life and the Feast of Trumpets? Are they related? Is so how? If not, where not? What does the Feast of Trumpets, which the Jews call Rosh Hashanah, help teach? A related sermon video would be Feast of Trumpets and the Book of Life as well as The Trumpet Release. The article has links to hear shofar blasts.
Feast of Trumpets: Why Should You Keep It? What does the Bible say? What does this festival picture? A related sermon is available: The Trumpet Warnings.
The Feast of Tabernacles: A Time for Christians? Is this pilgrimage holy day still valid? Does it teach anything relevant for today’s Christians? What is the Last Great Day? What do these days teach? A related sermon video is Feast of Tabernacles from Israel.
Holy Day Calendar This is a listing of the biblical holy days through 2024, with their Roman calendar dates. They are really hard to observe if you do not know when they occur 🙂 In the Spanish/Español/Castellano language: Calendario de los Días Santos. In Mandarin Chinese: 何日是神的圣日? 这里是一份神的圣日日历从2013年至2024年。.
ContinuingCOG channel. Dr. Thiel has produced scores of YouTube video sermons for this channel. Note: Since these are sermon-length, they can take a little longer to load than other YouTube videos.

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