Age-old traditional Arrow Ceremony to be re-enacted at Hook Lighthouse on New Year’s Day

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An age-old tradition is set to take place on New Year’s Day at the 800-year-old Hook Lighthouse in county Wexford as the archers, both expert and amateur, take part in a traditional “arrow ceremony”.

At 1 pm, the Dunbrody Archers will join Cllr Anthony Connick An Cathaoirleach of the Municipal District of New Ross Council to participate in the ceremony.

The ancient tradition dates back to 1687 when the Mayor and the corporation of New Ross Town Council claimed their authority over the Tower and waters by travelling to the point of the Hook and shooting an arrow into the sea from Hook Head Lighthouse.

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Pictured is Joszef Sztana from Hungary – Picture: Patrick Browne

On New Year’s Day 2024, the Mayor will cast an arrow into the sea symbolising the Ports authority over the estuary. Members of the public are invited to watch the free historical event at 1pm on New Year’s Day.

To begin the new Year at Hook Lighthouse the doors will be open early, from 7.30 am and visitors will be welcomed in to enjoy a view of the sun rising on the New Year as they enjoy a leisurely sunrise breakfast. 

Also taking place on St. Stephen’s Day at Hook Lighthouse is ‘Daisy Day’ another age-old tradition in the area. Hook Lighthouse records show the old custom in the form of ‘Penny for a Daisy’ which was carried out by the children and large numbers; and those who collected the first flower of 1943 and received pennies for them.

According to Hook Lighthouse, “The child who found the first daisy would win the hunt but lots of children would receive pennies from the families in the area.”

This St Stephen’s Day will see Daisy Day return between 12.00 noon and 2.00 pm. Prizes will be awarded for a daisy found and the best daisy chain made.

Hook is renowned as the oldest intact working lighthouse in the world, from the 5th century monks lit fires to keep the ships at sea safe. The Hook Lighthouse tour incorporates 115 steps to the top of the lighthouse tower featuring holograms illustrating the ancient history of the tower and the Hook area and spectacular views of the southern coast.

For further details see www.hookheritage.ie

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