7 Irish Halloween traditions from our childhood

Remember the colconnan and the barn brack

There really is something about us Irish. We like to shake thing up and put our own stamp on the world don't we? I've been thinking a lot about Halloween. Memories of my own childhood and what Halloween meant to me. 
These are the things that came to mind and a lot of other Irish families will probably relate
  • Barn Brack. None of us liked it but we absolutely took each slice as a prophesy of our future love lives. If you got the ring you had a smugness about you, just knowing that love was coming your way!
  • Colcannon for dinner! A concoction of mashed potato, curly kale and onions as the traditional Halloween dinner. In our house we served it with a fried egg too! This dish would often traditionally have hidden money in it. The dinner that gave you a 50/50 chance of breaking a tooth or becoming better off. To this day myself and my siblings are a bit competitive about it.
  • About one month before Halloween came the dreaded sound of bangers and fire works. Kids far too young with pockets of bangers and lighters. 100% dodgy but 100% expected every single year. The distinct smell of fireworks that consumes the air for the month of October. I personally hate them.
  • Teenage kids who pick up a €1 fancy dress mask and decide that this constitutes trick-or-treating. Bags upon bags of sweets collected!
  • The house that the local kids avoid because they have a reputation for giving “only” fruit and monkey nuts. The kids have it sussed and word spreads quick that it isn't worth a knock.
  • The tradition of bonfire which makes it entirely normal to see groups of teenagers carrying sofas and sliding wardrobes up the road two weeks before the big night. The neighbourhoods glorified skip.
  • Words like Samhain, Hallows Eve and All Saints Day used frequently by parents and not understood by children at all. 
Written by Tracey Quinn, staff writer with Family Friendly HQ

Tracey Quinn

Proud mum of two who got married on Don't Tell The Bride and had an accidental home-birth (loves a good story). She's passionate about breastfeeding, positive thinking & all things cosy.

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