Did you know that Halloween originates in Celtic Ireland?
The origins of Halloween are based on the festival of Samhain in Ireland’s Celtic past. It marked the end of the time when the crops had been gathered and placed in storage for the long winter ahead. But it was also the time when the souls of the departed returned to their homes and malevolent spirits were released from the Otherworld and were visible to all.
Why is Halloween’s Spooky?
At Halloween, the boundaries between the Otherworld and the human world are less secure so that puka, banshees, fairies and other spirits such as shape shifters could come and go freely.
Halloween traditions in Ireland
in their Halloween costumes children dress up and visit their neighbours’ homes yelling ‘‘Trick or Treat’ and collecting goodies. On arriving home many play Halloween games and here are a few: ‘Snap Apple’ involves an apple being hung from a string with blindfolded players trying to capture it with a bite. ‘Bobbing for apples’ is similar but involves the apples being placed in a large basin of water. In another game flour is poured on a tabletop to make a mound with a grape placed on top: players must remove small slices until the mound collapses, and that player must lift the grape with their mouth.
Many people practised a tradition of welcoming their own recent dead back into the home. People would leave empty seats around the fireside which was considered a place of honour in the Irish home. In addition, food might be left out for departed loved ones.