Since Ireland is the first place Halloween was celebrated, it's only fair that we start our trip here. Hopefully, that broomstick didn't give you too much trouble!
Halloween first started with Samhain, which signified the end of summer and beginning of winter. This was the time that many people believed the dead returned. Bonfires were lit to ward off evil spirits and this is a tradition that continues to this day. These bonfires were included as part of Feile na Marbh, a festival of the dead.
Now, let's look into some of the Halloween traditions that are followed by families all over the country:
Irish families will traditionally share Barnbrack, a Halloween fruitcake. Each member will receive one piece and the most exciting part is discovering what's inside. There can either be a rag which signifies financial trouble for the year, a coin signifies a financially prosperous year and a ring signifies imminent romance and happiness.
Colcannon for Dinner
Boiled potatoes, Kale and Onions are traditionally served on Halloween. Coins are wrapped in paper and hidden in the potatoes for children to find.
The Ivy Leaf
Each family member gets to put an Ivy Leaf in a cup of water and leave it overnight. If in the morning the Ivy Leaf has remained perfect it means 12 months of health for whoever put the leaf in the cup. If the leaf has developed spots or is not perfect in anyway, well…do we really want to know?
Many events are held all over the country and one of the biggest is Foyle Hallowe'en Carnival held within the medieval walls of Derry. Thousands of people attend from all over, who join in on the festivities and dress up in ghoulish costumes. This is Irelands biggest and most popular Halloween event.