Did you know Halloween originated in Ireland from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain?
“Samhain”, meaning “end of summer” marked the end of harvest season and the beginning of winter. It was believed that, on Samhain, the veil between this world and the next was at its weakest and the spirits of dead ancestors could pass through. During Samhain people would wear costumes to disguise themselves and light bonfires as protection from evil spirits or fairies.
The morphing of Samhain into Halloween came about in the 7th century, when Christianity declared All Saints’ Day or All-hallows for 1 November. This made the night before it All-hallows Eve, or, Halloween.
Halloween in the City of Bones
Towns and cities across Ireland celebrate Halloween, but it's Derry~Londonderry that really does it in style. The Banks of the Foyle Halloween Carnival is the largest Halloween celebration in Europe, attracting up to 25,000 enthusiasts from across the globe who flock to the city to take part.
This year promises to be bigger and better than ever. Dare to enter the Chateau Le Fear haunted house in Ebrington Square, be mesmerised by a spectacle of light and movement at the Awakening of the Walls, dress to impress for the Gothic Ball (held in a 19th century church!) and celebrate the Diwali Festival of Light, all over a week of Halloween happenings in the city.