Halloween in a traditional Irish way

Costumes, ©informatique/Flickr

Costumes, ©informatique/Flickr

As the Halloween celebration is coming nigh all the children get excited and prepare their costumes and bags for trick or treating and collecting sweets. In general the customs are all the same however the Irish have added a few more traditions to make it their own special holiday and give it a nice Irish flavor.

On all hallows’ eve the streets of Ireland put up their festive moods and although the children are happy let’s not forget about the fact that it is the night when the dead can return… the Irish are a people have many beliefs and many traditions connected to those beliefs. Let us familiarize you with a few.

Fires of Bones in other words: Bonfires

It is very common that on Halloween people light bonfires outside. The thing was actually a fire of bones as way back people burned the unused remains of the animals they killed. When the fire was lit the people threw flaming pieces from the fire at each other trying to avoid the burning pieces coming their way. Nevertheless today the bonfires rarely contain bones and people don’t throw blazing flames at each other anymore but light up fireworks.

Ballybunion Bonfire, ©final gather/Flickr

Ballybunion Bonfire, ©final gather/Flickr

House Blessing

At this time of the year in Ireland all the families make a so called parshell which is a cross made of two thin wood sticks tied with straw. The cross is hung inside the house above the door. Every family makes a new one year after year and replaces the old ones. They also bless the children by sprinkling holy water on them.

No tricks but treats

In the old times young men used to dress up and make lots of noise going from house to house asking food and drinks from the residents which they received from the kind occupiers. In some places there were processions, lead by a man on a horse. The people carried lanterns and walked across town.

Costumes, ©informatique/Flickr

Costumes, ©informatique/Flickr

Wanderers of Night

At Halloween you might meet some peculiar beings wandering in the night. According to some beliefs ghosts of ancestors come back and they can be driven away only by light or by dressing up in a strange outfit.

Home Sweet Home

Halloween is an exciting holiday when one can have tons of fun but most of the families prefer to stay at home and enjoy a lovely Irish Halloween meal together with all their loved ones.

Ireland, celebrating Halloween, ©Caitlinator/Flickr

Ireland, celebrating Halloween, ©Caitlinator/Flickr

 

Leave a Reply