Halloween in Ireland is an adaptation of a much, much older tradition called Samhain, a pagan festival that was held in the deep mid-winter of Celtic Ireland, at a time when the land lay barren and dormant. Quite a far cry from the events, bonfires, and costumes you’ll find at Halloween in 2019!
Our ancestors believed that the gods of the Earth controlled fertility, so they paid homage to them in hope of a fruitful and abundant harvest.
It’s easy with hindsight, to see how that ethereal crossover between the pagan gods and the spirit world got woven into a Christian tradition, which the emigrant Irish carried with them when they left these shores during famine times for America.
What’s harder to reconcile is the huge crass, commercial event Halloween has morphed into all over the world, but then look what they did to Christmas?