Unless your already aware I’m Irish and whilst Halloween is more typically mainstream here with all the usual Halloween things like Witches, Vampires and Ghosts, it used to be a lot more different years and years ago. For something different for Blogtober I thought I would list some Old Irish Halloween traditions, some of these the older generation may remember from thier own childhood.
1: TURNIP JACK O LANTERNS
Believed to be a Celtic tradition where people could walk home from the bonfire with an ember from that bonfire in a Hallowed out Turnip so the fire was still burning. There is of course another more frightening story about a blacksmith named Jack who worked with the Devil. This of course meant upon his death he was denied entry into Heaven so he was doomed to wander the earth alone. He asked the Devil for something to light his way so he was given a burning coal that he placed into a turnip he hollowed out. Irish People placed a Turnip outside thier house to keep Jack away
Don’t do deals with devil kids!
Once the traditional dinner to have on Halloween Night before going out to enjoy the night, it is a dish consisting of boiled potatoes curly kale cabbage and raw onions (Gross). Traditionally either coins or a ring were placed in the dish. The coins were placed in the children’s portion which they could keep if they found them. The ring was for the adults portion and whoever found it would be married within the year.
3: PICKING CABBAGES BLINDFOLDED
Local girls blindfolded would go out and pick the first cabbage they found, if it came up with plenty of soil/clay then it meant thier future husband would have lots of money. When eating the cabbage the flavor would tell them thier future husbands nature either bitter or sweet.
Who needs Tinder when you can just pick a Cabbage.
4: FAIRY PROTECTION
People once thought that fairies and goblins would steal souls on Halloween Night so if you threw dust under your feet then if a fairy was there they would have to release all the souls they had collected. Another updated version is that on farms animals were anointed with Holy Water to protect them at Halloween but if they took ill then they were spat at to chase away evil spirits.
Before we started dressing up as Vampires, Witches and other spooky things, people years ago would gather around a Bonfire wearing animal skins and heads. The idea behind this was that any evil spirits would be scared away by the fires. If one of these spirits was wandering the earth and encountered these dressed up Celts then they would perceive them to be spirits too and wouldn’t harm them.
Well we Irish certainly had some Fascinating Halloween Traditions back then however it is unlikely any of these could make a comeback, I couldn’t see myself trying to hollow out a Turnip and the PETA and Animal rights groups would go ballistic if we went around in animal skins. Hopefully this post has maybe inspired you to find out any old Halloween Traditions in your own country, certainly it could make for fascinating reading