Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble!
The air is getting crisper, the leaves are getting crunchier, and pumpkin-spiced lattes are back in town. All of this means one important thing… Spooky Season is upon us! As the land of myths and legends, Halloween is a tradition that has been celebrated in Ireland for well over a thousand years.
Which got us wondering… what exactly are the origins of Halloween? Although wildly popular in America (as one of the best nights of the year), Halloween is filled with street decorations, on people’s houses and costumed kids running around. Some might think it came from Mexico’s Day of the Dead. However, the festival of Halloween actually originated in Ireland as a pagan festival called Samhain (pronounced saw-when). This was when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts before welcoming the darker months of the year.
In modern times though, Ireland is very similar to America in the tradition of good old trick or treating, not to mention the barmbrack tradition, bopping for apples and fireworks! Since this Halloween is the first without social distancing in two years, we imagine everyone will only be itching to get out and have some spooky-filled fun.
We’ve done you the favour of finding some of the best Halloween-themed events happening in Ireland over the next few weeks!
- THE NIGHTMARE REALM – DUBLIN
At Number One is The Nightmare Realm, known for being the ‘Most Entertaining Horror Experience’ and even awarded ‘No.1 Haunt in the world!’
From humble beginnings in Tralee, Kerry, back in 2009, to now having its 7th year in the Big Smoke (Dublin City), The Nightmare Realm set out to terrorise the people of Ireland. Each year is different to the last as they redesign haunt themes and mazes, switch up characters and update their most infamous rooms! Nothing is ever the same as it once was. It’s innovative, entertaining and, most importantly.. absolutely terrifying!
Sounds like a bit of you? Check them out here for more information: The Nightmare Realm
2.CON MÓR, – MACNAS GALWAY
Known for their infamous Halloween Parades, Macnas are up to something very different this year. Instead of roaming the streets of Galway, you can find them at Macnas HQ at Fisheries Field, Galway, where apparently an ancient giant named Con Mór lives! Professor Marjorie Morrigan, an expert in Giants & Where They Come From, has said – “This giant seems to have been here for centuries. There is a very large iron nose, so big and rusty, you could park a car in one of the nostrils.”
The word on the street is this big fella belongs to the legendary Tuatha De Danann tribe and comes from an ancient Island of Giants off the coast of Connaught. Con Mór was so famous across Ireland for his love of birds and nature that his friends called him The Bird King!
Perfect for the family and kids, or even those really big kids who just never knew how to grow up. You can see CON MÓR, The Giant, situated on the banks of the River Corrib from 12 noon on Saturday, 29th & Sunday, 30th October 2022. Keep an eye out and see if you catch the pop-up performances from the Macnas Drummers, Macnas Brass, Macnas Stilters and Macnas Youth Theatre across Galway city!
For more information on this magnificent giant, click here: CON MÓR, – MACNAS GALWAY
Travel from Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Ballinasloe, Athlone, Kinnegad and more! Check out our website for more details at citylink.ie
3. LIMERICK CIVID TRUST HAUNTED HALLOWEEN WALKING TOUR
This year, the Limerick Civic Trust offers the opportunity to take a walking tour of Limerick’s haunted medieval quarter in St. Munchin’s Graveyard and Bishop’s Palace, Church Street, Kings Island. Hear about all the tales of Limerick’s ghastly past with tales of ghosts that are said to haunt The Bishop’s Palace and the area of King’s Island to this very day!
You’ll get to hear first-hand about the haunting experiences that the Limerick Civic Trust staff and volunteers have experienced in the building. The tour takes you all around these areas where terrible murders took place. Where ghosts that warn of impending death live, such as the Delmedge ghost that is said to haunt the area.
Due to the scary nature of the tour, apparently, participants are even asked to sign a waiver before partaking in the tour! Saying all those who manage to complete the tour will receive a certificate of completion will show just how brave you are.
Tours run every day from Wednesday, 25th October to Tuesday, 31st October, inclusive at 5 pm & 6 pm.
Reckon you are brave enough? Click the link here to find out more: Limerick Civic Trust Haunted Halloween Walking Tour
4. DRAGON OF THE SHANDON – CORK
This year marks the awakening of a giant and beautiful beast. Coming out of her slumber and calling out to her legion of otherworldly night creatures to celebrate Samhain. The moment when our human world and the other world, the unseen world of shadows, coexist freely.
Welcoming its 17th year, the Dragon of Shandon Parade is the highlight of CCAL’s annual arts calendar. Working with local artists to create a cultural hub and provide a friendly and carnival atmosphere within the entire city on Halloween night.
Some of the groups already involved in this year’s parade so far are the Cope Foundation, National Learning Network, YMCA, Aisling Cap, Joan Denise School of Dance, Cork City Samba, Circus Factory, The Tribe Dance Academy, UCC Film and Screen Media, Aatma Indian Dance Troupe and many more.
It looks and sounds like it is NOT to be missed! For more information, click here: DRAGON OF THE SHANDON