Halloween in Ireland: Origins, The Celts, Evil Spirits & Pumpkins

October 29, 2017

Halloween in Ireland

How and why do we celebrate Halloween in Ireland?

The connection between Halloween and Ireland is as strong and powerful as the evil spirits who have always came out to play at this time of year dating back centuries.

 

Halloween has it’s origins in the Celtic Festival of Samhain. The tradition of the bonfire at Halloween is linked to Samhain as a fire festival was celebrated over the night of the 31 October.

 

The Celts would have celebrated the end of the cycle when all of the crops would have been harvested and stored indoors.

 

The celebration would have marked the end of the harvest season and the arrival of the darkness of winter.

 

Halloween Warrenpoint 2017

 

It was at this time that the souls of the departed would return to their homes. The changing of the seasons was seen as a threshold by the ancient people when the boundaries between the world of the living and dead crossed.

 

The arrival of Christianity in Ireland led by Saint Patrick saw the old pagan customs being replaced with Christian celebrations.

 

1 November became All Souls Day – the connection with the pagan’s customs surrounding the dead clear. The evening before was known as Hallow’s Eve – it’s not surprising it became Halloween.

 

Halloween Warrenpoint 2017

 

The tradition of dressing up at Halloween can be traced back to Celtic times. The people would light fires, wear masks and make noise in an attempt to confuse the spirits and drives them away from the peoples homes.

 

Halloween Warrenpoint 2017

 

The Puca – an Irish fairy – fairy blasted any apples that had not been harvested thus making them inedible. The tradition of apple dunking is still carried on at Halloween today.

 

The Halloween Pumpkin

Halloween Warrenpoint 2017

 

Pumpkins are hollowed as lanterns all over the world at Halloween. This is a tradition that originated in Ireland to ward of evil spirits and light the way for travellers in this most scary of evenings.

 

However, it started out in Ireland with the hollowing of a turnip. When Irish immigrants made there way across the Atlantic in search of a new life they brought these ancient customs and practices with them.

 

The turnip was replaced by the pumpkin which is native to North America.

 

Trick or Treat

Halloween Warrenpoint 2017

 

The poor would call at the homes of the wealthy to gather supplies for the Halloween festivities. In America the trick or treat pastime really took of in the 1920’s

 

For all the details on what’s on at Halloween in Warrenpoint 2017 CLICK HERE