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Halloween

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Halloween

In Ireland we celebrate Halloween on 31st October each year. It is a very old festival and dates back to the time of the Celts. They believed that the souls of the dead visited earth on the last day of October. They held a festival to celebrate and called it Samhain. They believed that if they dressed up in scary costumes they would frighten away the souls of the dead who were wandering around the world on that night. They left food in an area away from their villages and hoped the souls would take the food and stay away from the people in the villages.

There are many traditions associated with Halloween. In Ireland, long ago, people carved out turnips to scare away these wandering souls. During the Famine, many thousands of Irish people emigrated to America on the 'Coffin ships'. Those who survived and set up home there, brought their Irish customs with them – among them the tradition of carving turnips at Halloween. They discovered that Pumpkins which grew in America were much easier to carve. Over the years, trade developed between Ireland and America and many other countries. Pumpkins could then be bought in Ireland and returning emigrants brought the custom of carving pumpkins to Ireland.

Many years later, the Catholic Church decided to celebrate the feast of  'All Saints' on 1st November. It was also called “All hallows day” as hallow means holy. 31st October was known as the Eve of All Hallows or Hallows Eve. This eventually changed to Halloween.

Halloween 2016
On Friday 28 October everyone dressed up, coming to school in their Halloween costumes. We went on a “Witches Walk” to Huntington Castle. In the evening all children were invited to the Halloween Party for some freaky fun and ghoulish games!
See photos

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