From the homemade costumes to the bonfires, the bad apples to the scary neighbours. Here are five things you’ll remember if you went trick or treating in Ireland as a kid.
The celebration of Halloween, or All Hallows’ Eve, is recognised around the world. Marked annually on 31 October, Halloween is the day the barrier between the dead and living is at its thinnest and can be broken.
While America has popularised the tradition of Halloween in contemporary culture, its roots stretch back centuries to Ireland.
A fact often unknown to many is that the celebration of Halloween is actually based on the Celtic festival of Samhain.
5. The bonfires – the smell in the air
One of the most memorable things you’ll recall if you went trick or treating in Ireland is the bonfires galore.
These are slowly becoming less and less common for multiple reasons. Police crackdown due to safety concerns and the environmental impact, to name but a few.
However, in the past, they were as common as night and day.
If you used to trick or treat on Halloween, you’ll remember the embers in the atmosphere and the smell of burning wood in the air.
4. The scary neighbours – we all had at least one
It is safe to say that all kids in Ireland, past and present, have at least one scary neighbour that gives them the creeps. And, there is no night that that house becomes more spooky than Halloween night.
Most of us will remember daring each other to give the bell a ring, hoping the neighbour will answer.
The fearless ones among us will recall the terror as they knocked on the front door. The lamplight from inside confirming someone’s home.
The funny thing is, now, in hindsight, that neighbour we were all so scared of was most likely a totally harmless older person who keeps to themselves. Cue guilt!
3. The sweet treats galore – the best part
One of the best things you’ll remember if you went trick or treating in Ireland is the endless bags of sweets that were bestowed upon us every Halloween night.
It would be as tricky as pulling teeth to get a snack off our parents 364 days a year. Yet, the candy comes en masse on All Hallows’ Eve.
The only downside to this occurrence is the horrible sick stomach that follows suit after ingesting a year’s worth of sweet treats in just one night.
2. The worst treats galore – the worst part
On the flip side of the aforementioned is another one of the top things you’ll remember if you went trick or treating in Ireland: the bad treats. Apples and nuts, you both get an honourary mention in this category.
There was absolutely nothing worse than returning home with your loot after a night of knocking door-to-door to see that most of your bounty is made up of fruit and ‘healthy snacks’.
To those who gave out said ‘healthy snacks’, shame on you. A sore stomach from too many sweet things is a part of the Halloween ritual!
1. The costumes – the Halloween essential
Snagging the number one spot on our list of things you’ll remember if you went trick or treating in Ireland is the costumes. Oh, the costumes!
Maybe it was the handmade home projects. Or, perhaps the ever-exciting visit to the costume store where you struggled between the classics; Dracula or witch? Ghost or devil?
Perhaps the costume sourcing is one of the best memories of Halloween as a kid.
And, the best part? Trick or treating does have its socially accepted age limits.
However, getting dressed up on Halloween night (or any night, really), eating lots of junk food, and acting like a messer will never go out of style in our books!