For almost 300 years the small town of Portmagee has held a parade on New years Eve, it comes from an old 1727 tale where a French Ship arrived on the Port on NYE. Just before the clock stroke 12, the crew paraded through the town carrying lit torches. Amongst them was an ‘old man’ who, as the parade went on, became more ancient in appearance. When the clock stroke 12 a shot rang out and the old man collapsed as though dead. Suddenly, he transformed into a lively young man wearing white trousers, a swallow-tail coat and a top hot. He then retraced the steps of the old man, the crowd cheered and celebrated as he continued.

It is believed the old man represented the old and dying year and the young man was the new year ahead – full of hope and possibility. This event has been recreated ever since.

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