|It was a Celtic, rather than a specifically Irish, festival -
originally Samhain, a pagan festival among the Celts of Ireland
and Great Britain. Irish and Scottish immigrants carried versions
of the tradition to North America in the nineteenth century. The
ancient Irish called the festival "Samhain" (pronounced Sa-Wain),
which is now the Gaelic word for the month of November,
although in recent times the Hallowe'en is celebrated on October
The word Hallowe'en is of Scottish origin, and comes from
"Hallows Evening". It was believed at this time, souls could
wander freely across the earth. Hallowe'en was also viewed as a
time when evil spirits, the devil and witches were at their most
The best, concise account of Halloween in Ireland is in
'Celebrating Irish Festivals. Calendar of seasonal celebrations' by
Ruth Marshall, Hawthorn Press, Stroud, Gloucestershire, ISBN 1-
903458-23-4, pp 14-27.
A brilliant comprehensive description of Traditional Irish/Celtic
Halloween can be found at Irish in Schools. It is a PDF
document. All resources in that spectacular website are free.
Ruth Kelly’s The Book of Hallowe'en (1919) has a chapter on
Today, some claim that Hallowe'en in Ireland appeals more to
adults than to children, with fancy dress parties de rigueur for
some and considerable sums of money being spent on costumes.
Halloween is certainly a significant enough celebration that
1. BBC Northern Ireland has an excellent site
2. it forms part of Northern Ireland's tourist strategy, as you will
My sincere thanks to Professor Patrick Buckland &
Irish in Schools for his valuable guidance.
|246 pages absolutely
jam-packed with Family
Fun Activities &
This book includes
lesson plans, crafts,
recipes, Jokes & Riddles,
Vocabulary 7 counting
exercises, Handwriting &
Sight word cards,
pages, tags, bags and
labels, incitations and
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