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Honouring His Goatness

by Desmond F. Kelly

In the town of Killorglin in County Kerry, the reins of power are handed to a wild billy goat once a year. It’s an opportunity for the people to let out their inner beast — and for tourists to party the night away. The crowning of a king has always been cause for celebration. In the small town of Killorglin in the south-west corner of Ireland, it still is — with a hitch. The king in question is a goat.

“King Puck” is one of the last regents of Ireland, though his reign is a short one — from August 10 to 12 every year. Nevertheless, the small Irish town of Killorglin (about 100 km. from Cork) has been crowing King Puck since (officially) 1610. The goat-fawning fair is one of the oldest of Ireland’s traditional rural celebrations — and one of its better known. Still, despite the fair’s fame, its origins are somewhat unclear. One theory has the fair dating back to pagan times. Puck, as the male goat is called, could have been seen as a symbol of fertility for a late summer harvest festival.

Read the original article at: Spiegel News

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