It’s a festival of great antiquity not just in Ireland but in many countries but its Celtic origins is a significant one. There used to be many traditional customs associated with the night, be it with regard to games, food and bonfires. I wonder how many families now still play these games? Over the past decade or more this annual festival has become Americanised, with all this trick ‘n’ treat, pumpkins and other stuff. But on the other hand it is possible that large elements of these ‘American’ practices came from this side of the Atlantic in the first place. Bonfires, when not properly and safely located, have become literally a nightmarish problem in many areas. Fireworks are another hazard and in this jurisdiction are illegal to use with a -misuse can have horrific consequences. There are good arguments to having officially organised displays on the night, be it at a local community or town/city level. I thought with the week that’s in it that I would research some of the history of Halloween. Cork City, by the way, has its Bonfire Night on June 23rd – ach sin sceal eile.

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