Published On: 8 May 2023|2.4 min read|

Did you know that the month of May was named after the goddess Maia who took care of the growth of plants. Coincidentally, in addition to being a month of rebirth and re-blooming, this is also a month of one of the biggest festivals in Ireland. This festival, in addition to being one of the largest festivals, is also the world’s first national celebration of creativity in old age. Bealtaine was established in 1995 and since then has fully supported older people to express their creativity and participate in artistic activities. But why is this important?


As we age, often in addition to slowing down physically, we can suffer from increased anxiety. It’s not uncommon to feel that our creative potential fades as we age, but Bealtaine challenges that notion by showcasing the creativity and talents of older people. The festival is supported by Age & Opportunity, a national development organisation that works toward enabling the best possible quality of life for all as we age. The Age & Opportunity Arts team has prepared a strategic program for the festival, which is a locally conceived and curated national program of hundreds of events organised in each community by various groups.


The Bealtaine Festival is deeply rooted in local communities and has grown to more than 3,000 events involving up to 60,000 people in towns and villages across the country. It has also inspired similar festivals around the world. The festival brings together hundreds of artists and partners, including arts centres, libraries, theatres, galleries, arts officers, national arts and cultural institutions, orchestras, community groups, local authorities, nursing homes, supported living housing, and more.

At Bealtaine you will find a wide range of events and activities, showcasing the creativity of older people, whilst promoting the skills, experiences and exposure that can lead to rich creative lives for all older people. 

You can attend workshops to learn new skills, watch performances by talented older artists or even participate in collaborative art projects with other festival goers.


One of the great things about Bealtaine is that there really is something for everyone. Whether you are an artist yourself or just someone who likes to experience art, you will find something to enjoy at the festival. Bealtaine is more than just a celebration of art and creativity; it’s also about challenging ageist culture and stereotypes about what older people are capable of. 

By providing a platform for older people to express their creativity and participate in artistic activities, Bealtaine fosters a sense of belonging and community among older people.


So, if you’re looking for a festival that celebrates the creativity and talents of older people, look no further than the Bealtaine Festival. It’s an inspiring and exciting event that brings people of all ages together to celebrate the power of creativity, the joy of community and the bloom in older days! 

Find the full festival program here: Bealtaine Festival Programme