Sunday, August 12, 2007

Goat crowned king of Ireland at fair

Gotta love the Irish!

In reality, a goat could do as well as some of our world leaders have done.

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Jimmy, a feisty white mountain goat, was crowned king of Ireland on Friday at one of the country's oldest fairs.

Dating back centuries, the Puck Fair is an annual festival of drinking, music and dancing celebrated in the town of Killorglin in southern Ireland.

Each year a male goat is caught in the surrounding mountains, paraded through the town to a beat of drums and pipes, and then placed in a 40-feet (12 metre) stand where he reigns as king for three days.

The origins of the fair are not totally known, but it always falls on August 10-12.

One theory suggests mountain goats alerted residents of the town to an impending attack by leader Oliver Cromwell's forces in the 17th century.

Another says it may have pre-Christian links due to the goat being a pagan fertility symbol like the god Pan.

"Its origins go way back to the mists of time," the fair's financial controller Declan Falvey told Reuters. "There is a mingling of fact and fantasy."

Around 100,000 to 150,000 visitors are expected to attend this year.

Falvey said precautions had been taken at the event, which also features separate horse and cattle fairs, due to a foot and mouth outbreak in England with disinfectant used, and mats placed wherever there were animals.

Jimmy himself will receive regal treatment, being fed regularly and checked by his own personal vet.

"At the end of 3 days, when he is dethroned, he is brought back up to the mountains and released to join his fellow nanny goats to resume his pastoral duties," said Falvey.


Tommy said...

No wonder my ancestors were conquered by the British!

Stardust said...

tommy, the British have some weird traditions of their own like Cheese rolling.