On the night of October 31 large fires were lit as Celts believed the souls of the dead rose again to join the living and believed that large “bonfires” would keep evil spirits at arms length.
Remember this is a feast where playing tricks on people is commonplace. Better to know in advance and be able to play a few in return.
Today people think of Halloween as the festival of witches, ghosts, goblins, costumes and fun. In Dublin we celebrate this pagan feast by dressing up in costume and heading to a party. There's often a fair bit of drinking involved, so don’t be alarmed to see hundreds of people wandering around the city in high spirits all looking like they just hired the entire contents of a costume shop... or just got dressed in the dark.
Iif you're strapped for time, these top three ideas for costumes will help you blend in with the crowd. People do appreciate the effort, and it's a great way to get chatting to the locals.
The top three costumes for men are very easy to do 1) a rugby player complete with mud on the face, 2) very badly dressed ladies – definitely nothing to compete with the drag queens of this city or finally 3) the guy on a beach in the Hawaiian shirt.
Shops will be stocked with loads of Barmbracks (fruit bread) and pumpkins. The Barmbrack has a number of items hidden in it. If you find one in your slice then your fortune for the following year is foretold. Typically you can find 1) a pea – you will not marry this year, 2) a piece of cloth – bad luck, 3) a stick – a lot of disputes, 4) a coin – riches or good luck and 5) a ring – you will marry in the year. If you do buy a Barmbrack, be careful as most still have a ring hidden inside – so don’t break your teeth.
Happy Halloween and profitable Trick or Treating to all gouls, ghosts and partygoers.