Reviving Frocken Sunday
Frocken Sunday was traditionally celebrated on the last Sunday of July and was part of the ancient Celtic festival of Lughnasa. Young couples would enjoy the freedom of courtship experienced picking the berries on the hills.
Later the girls would meet with the lads again in the evening for a dance, having made the berries into a cake and presenting the cake to whichever lad had taken their eye.
Frockens, also spelt fraughans, (fraochán in Irish) are bilberries - the first of the wild berries to ripen. Frockens can be eaten raw or cooked into tarts, desserts and jams. They are also considered powerful antioxidants for good health and vision. They grow plentifully on hillsides where heather and gorse grow.
This year, Priory Brewing from Tallaght has incorporated frockens into a new beer: Frocken Hell – Pale Ale. ‘We wanted to find an ingredient that could truly be considered local to us in Tallaght and we also wanted to revive this important old custom of foraging for frocken and celebrating Frocken Sunday.’ said John Kearns of Priory Brewing.
Molloys Tavern in Tallaght Village, the Kiltipper Inn in Tallaght, Brickyard Gastropub in Dundrum and Dead Centre Brewing in Athlone will be launching this beer on Frocken Sunday 28th July 2019 and also including this mystical berry into their food offering on the day. So join in reviving the celebration of Frocken Sunday this year by getting your fill of Frockens at the one of those venues.