IRELAND, W.Va. (WBOY) — The Irish Spring Festival of 2023 finally came to an end after a weekend of festivities, wrapping up with the climbing of Blarney Rock and a bowl of stone soup.

At around 5 p.m., residents of Ireland and a handful of visitors began climbing to Blarney Rock, a large stone at the top of the hill that is named after another stone in Ireland, the country. In both cases, the stone is said to bring good luck and West Virginia’s Blarney Rock is part of a pilgrimage for residents every spring to ring in the new year.

The Vernal Equinox takes place at exactly 5:24 p.m. Precisely at that moment, the Equinox is celebrated with cheers from both kids and adults. Then, the equally challenging descent back to the Ireland Community Center begins so hikers can make it back in time for stone soup.

Stone soup originates from a folktale that emphasizes community. In the story, many people come together and contribute an ingredient to the pot so they can create a meal they can all enjoy together. The reason it is called stone soup is that the first person who began cooking the soup had nothing to eat besides boiling water and a rock, but after a communal effort, a dinner is made that can be shared by everyone.