Things That Are Part Of Every Irish Halloween


EVEN the most cynical of people must admit that Halloween, especially in Ireland, can be a great day of fun and frolics. Casting our mind back to our youthful forays into Halloween, there’s so many aspects of Halloween that are uniquely Irish and something to treasure.

1) Getting nuts instead of chocolate when out trick or treating

Ah stop, some of us would put on a brave face and say ‘thank you’ to our miserly neighbours, but there was always one friend brave enough to speak up and ask where the hell all the sweets were?

2) Tracking down a local virgin for the annual Pagan sacrifice

Nostalgia alert! Oh how the town went mad for a bit of virgin sacrifice. The searing heat of the bonfire as the flesh of a virgin slowly burned away, it’s like we can still smell it now. Depending on the size of your town, it wasn’t always easy finding an adult female virgin, but that’s sort of what made it fun, the sense of community as we all traipsed through town with our pitchfork, virgin hunting. Bobbing for apples was some craic too.

3) When dad let you light the bonfire

The screams and pleading from the sacrificial woman wasn’t always the most pleasant sound, but boy was it an honour when our auld lad let us burn one of them. Throwing a pack of snaps on the ground as well, ha, we thought we were deadly.

4) When it was your sister’s turn to be sacrificed

Admittedly, we miss her from time to time, but like you, we get a serious attack of Deja Vu when Halloween rolls round. It was a real plot twist when she started levitating and speaking in tongues. A witch? In our family? The town never forgot it. But she made for a beautiful bonfire accelerant all the same.

5) So many things you wouldn’t get away with nowadays

Your parents let you run riot in the neighbouring estates, trick or treating away for hours without any supervision, simpler times back then. Can’t do anything like that now, and now the virgin sacrifices have to be overseen by fire safety officers, which sort of takes the fun out of it.

6) Smearing your entire body with the blood of the woman sacrificed and dancing naked around the bonfire

Some of the best times were had when dancing around the fire. A nightmare to wash off yourself, we remember when we were 8 and Mam spent all evening scrubbing the stuff off us, she was livid, lol.