Halloween is upon us. As night falls this evening, children dressed in scary costumes will go trick or treating to gather sweets and goodies from neighbourhood houses. Carved pumpkin lanterns will glow amber in the dark. The Eve of All Hallows is when the spirit world joins ours. Tonight is for those beyond the grave. Tomorrow, the Christian religion will celebrate All Saints Day, when prayers for the Saints will be said in church.
Halloween in Ireland is linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain. This was when the year changed from the light half (summer) to the dark half (winter). It was thought by the Celts that this was when the partition of their world and the other world was at its most permeable, so spirits of the otherr world could mingle with their live counterparts on Earth. Family members were remembered and the Celts dressed up as harmful spirits to stave off evil. Bonfires were lit and food was shared. This brief history of the Samhain festival shows us how close the modern day Halloween celebrations are connected to the annual festival of our Celtic ancestors. We hope this evening you will have lots of fun celebrating the night of the ‘living dead’! Make sure to check behind the masks of the trick or treaters this eve – are they just the kids of the neighbourhood – or could there be something more sinister knocking at your door when darkness falls….