Púca or Pookie… Oh Oíche Shamhna… Samhain… Halloween!
Here at Johnny Magory HQ we LOVE this time of year.
Watch our traditional scary storytelling of the púca by clicking below.
And learn from fun facts about the night when the veil between the living and the dead is at its thinnest!
Oíche Shamhna Shona Daoibh!
All hail the Celts
We wouldn’t have our ‘Halloween’ as we know it if not for our ancient Irish relatives. However the Celts seem to get all the glory for this but according to historians, the original Irish were having the craic long before the Celt’s arrived on our shores. They celebrated Samhain on October 31st with the great Festival of Fire.
The entrance passage to the Mound of the Hostages on the Hill of Tara is aligned with the rising sun around Samhain. The Mound of the Hostages is 4,500 to 5000 years old, suggesting that Samhain was celebrated long before the first Celts arrived in Ireland about 2,500 years ago. https://www.newgrange.com/samhain.htm
A Penny For the Púca
When the spirits wandered around on October 31st, the warm-blooded folk got pretty spooked so they decided to fight fire with fire! They dressed up as dead people so they could a) hide among the real dead, and b) try and scare them off in the process! There wasn’t any Paw Patrol or Snow White costumes back then though, it was a much simpler, and terrifying, affair back then using whatever material they had with lots of black dirt on their faces.
Americans (and the world!) Can Thank the Irish
America really seems to go above and beyond annually for Halloween now but low and behold, there was an Irish person behind the whole thing! With our large emigrations across the pond from the 1840’s onwards, we brought some pretty nifty traditions too… Trick or Treating being one of them! However around the time of the Great Depression, apparently the ‘Trick’ part was taken a little more serious with plain old vandalism and violence winning out over the simple Treats!
Who’s Getting Married Next oh Bairín Breac
Barmbrack with the ring predicting marriage… Delicious and great craic. Here’s a great recipe and some more fun traditions.
Old School Really is Cool
As children, we had the best craic with games on Halloween. From standing beside a blazing bonfire to bobbing from apples to gleefully headbutting a plate of flour with a missing cherry in it! Here’s a great list of games to try out.