Saturday, 24th March 2018
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Although the shops are full of products for Christmas you would be forgiven for thinking that there is no other large public holiday this side of New Year's. You would be forgetting of course that very soon it is going to be one of the most Irish of holidays of them all - Halloween.

Officially called All Hallow's Eve, the 31st of October is one of the most festive and widespread of holidays that you would ever find in the country. In fact the holiday has spread all over the world now and it coincides with other such popular holidays in other countries such as Mexico's Day of the Dead and to some extent Fireworks's night in Britain, although that latter holiday has more to do with the vagaries of dating rather than anything else.

Although Halloween is an entirely Irish holiday in origin, it has become so popular around the world that some people now think that it is, in fact, an American holiday. They couldn't be more wrong. All of the essentials for Halloween are completely Irish - from the special food that you eat, from children going door-to-door and getting sweets to dressing up as monsters, witches, ghouls and goblins - everything about Halloween is entirely Irish.

It has evolved over the decades, for example, when children now ask 'trick or treat' in that American way instead of 'have you anything for halloween' you know that something has changed about the nature but not the substance of the holiday.

There is something that will always be special and very Irish about Halloween. What is also special about the holiday is the fact that it is one that is based around children, that has them at it's very core. Teenagers might be able to go off and see the latest horror flick at the cineplex specially brought out to cash in on the holiday or go to the scariest house of horror but essentially the holiday is all about the youngest people in the country. It is for them that all the dressing up is all about and it is for them that the excitement of going out on the streets in the dark in their costumes is all about as well. And that is the way that it should be.

Celebrations of any kind, although they might have their adult side, should be all about the children. But you shouldn't forget about the four legged members of your household either, a special eye should be kept on them with all of the bangers and fireworks that go off at this time of year.

But Halloween is all about the children so keep that in mind when you go to buy the sweets to give out and ensure that you answer your door to all the witches, ghouls and goblins that will come out this All Hallow's Eve.


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