Next Sunday is traditionally “Blaeberry Sunday’ and it was a date where communities around north Monaghan and further afield took to the hills to picnic, sport and play, and of course to pick the blaeberries. The berries were eaten or brought home to make into jam and wine for those who were unable to make the climb. This a Christian continuance of a very old harvest festival celebrating the Celtic God Lugh – the Lughnasa – the festival from which the Christian Lammas festival arose. The gatherings faded away in the 1970s, however many locally still mark the date. There is no shortage of space on the hills and most have great public walks and access. So why not pack a picnic, and head out to Sliabh Beagh with the family – there were still some blaeberries there, keep the custom going, it’s a great day out.