I am so excited to have Vanessa back on the Spine today to talk to us about Halloween in Ireland.
In Pagan times, the Halloween celebrations were at its wildest with the druids sacrificing and burning victims. Tradition has it that these sacrificial bonfires had to prevent the dead from crawling out of their graves. Bonfires are now a huge part of the Halloween festivities in Ireland and are lit in both rural areas and towns throughout the country.
One of the best places to watch those bonfires is in the medieval town of Athboy and the hill of Tlachtga where the underworld and our world are supposedly closest together. On Halloween’s Eve, the inhabitants make a tour with burning torches from Athboy to the top of Tlachtga. The tour ends with a traditional Celtic feast in an Iron Age Fort overlooking the town.
Halloween Parades and Halloween Carnivals
The biggest Halloween parade in Ireland is the Banks of the Foyle Halloween Carnival in Derry. While live music and performances take place all over town, more than 30.000 people walk with candlelight toward the River Foyle. The night ends with a spectacular fireworks display lightning up the night sky over the river.
A similar event is the Dublin Halloween Parade, a display of performers, dancers, monsters, giants, ghosts, goblins and witches that ends in extravagant fireworks.
Halloween Bus Tour
If you like it spooky, you might want to try Dublin’s Halloween Night Bus Tour. While the bus drives you through the city’s dark, unknown streets, a live storyteller will tell you all about Dublin’s sinister past and legends. It’s a popular attraction, so book in advance.
Ireland is known for its accommodation offering entertaining and educational Halloween programs for kids:
In the atmospheric Causey Farm, nearby Dublin, children can listen to old Celtic stories, learn to drive a broomstick and much more.
The Clontarf Castle Hotel in Dublin celebrates Halloween by organizing a world championship for vampires.
And the Headfort Arms Hotel, located on a one hour drive from Dublin has Halloween films for kids and other fun activities on the program.
Couples without children might want to stay at the Dunboyne Castle & Spa (where you can be a participant in a murder story) or at Castle Leslie Estate (where you can taste Prosecco and Halloween chocolates).
Irish Halloween Food
And while you’re in Ireland, you may also try the various Halloween foods that the country is renowned for: Colcannon (dish with potatoes, cabbage, onions, butter, milk, salt and pepper) and Barnbrack Cake (fruit hiding objects such as a ring, a tissue and a coin).
About Vanessa Morgan
Vanessa Morgan is known as the 'female version of Stephen King'. Her vampire story A GOOD MAN is currently in production to become a feature film. She's also the author of DROWNED SORROW and THE STRANGERS OUTSIDE. If she's not working on her latest supernatural thriller, you can find her reading, watching horror movies, blogging, digging through flea markets or indulging in her unhealthy obsession to her cat.
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Vanessa Morgan's books
The story of a remote New England town where water has become a supernatural element that can think, move and kill.
GPS With Benefits (release date: November 1, 2012)
When a womanizer goes shopping for a new GPS, he has no idea he's buying one with a mind of 'her' own.