The Irish Government has launched Heritage Week, celebrating all aspects of Ireland's national heritage with a colorful range of events and projects taking place across the country. 

Heritage Week was launched by Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan and will take place between August 12 and August 20, featuring almost 2,000 free events across the country. 

Families, communities, and holidaymakers are encouraged to get out and explore Ireland's heritage during the week of events. Galleries, gardens, historic houses, barnyards, and studios will all host events during Heritage Week, covering everything from architecture to archaeology, film to foraging, philosophy to genealogy, and music to storytelling. 

A number of walks, talks, and workshops will also take place around the country during Heritage Week. 

The theme of this year's Heritage Week is "Living Heritage", celebrating the practices, skills, and knowledge that have been passed down from one generation to the next. 

Many events will therefore focus on keeping traditional skills and crafts alive. 

Some of the highlights include a "Discover Blacksmithing" workshop in Limerick, where attendees can immerse themselves in a free four-day course and learn the skills of blacksmithing, and a "Genealogy One-to-One in Kilkenny, where people can book a private session with a genealogy expert and explore their family history. 

"The Fair of Muff" event in Cavan will reenact an ancient Celtic festival, allowing visitors to sample old fair games such as "Penny Toss" and "Skittles". 

"With thousands of free events all over the country, Heritage Week is a wonderful opportunity to connect with the places, traditions, crafts and skills that have woven their way through the fabric of Irish society," Noonan said at the launch of Heritage Week last month. 

"I’d like to commend the hundreds of people, community groups and organizations across Ireland who, every year, give freely of their own time to host events and share their interest in heritage with the public and with the next generation of heritage lovers and tradition keepers." 

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