Halloween came from Celtic harvest festivals with possible pagan roots, particularly the Gaelic (lrish and Welsh) Samhain festival – which means end of Summer. The hallows (the martyrs) and all the faithful departed were celebrated and given safe passage from this world.
Halloween costumes have been influenced by beliefs from the Celtic speaking countries. The Festival of the dead called Parentalia sets the holiday on the 31st October. This is since the time of the primitive church and the christian takeover of festival. At this time it was customary for clerics dressed in black to parade the streets ringing bells.
Today we have Macnas Parade in Galway This Years parade was called symphony of the restless.
Look out for The Horse Pegasus, and look out for Crom the Giant.
In Ireland we have a rich tradition attached to Halloween. One of the most famous gothic and horror literature novels is DRACULA… written by our own Bram Stoker.
Bram stoker is directly descended from Manus O’Donnell (Manus the Magnificent 1563) one of the most famous men in early Irish history. The family were in possession of the oldest surviving Irish manuscript (now in the National Library) all the way back to the 11 th century.
Bram Stoker was born in Dublin, his grandmother was buried in the crypt of St Michan’s church where the bodies in the caskets are mummified due to the bizare climate under the church- check out the images below:
Sheridan Le Fanu
But we can’t forget the other gothic writer Sheridan Le fanu. As a writer he was more influential then Bram Stoker He wrote several ghost stories and novels His best known works was uncle Silias and the house by the churchyard pictured below :
Modern Day Galway Ghost Stories