Dublin: As Ireland eagerly anticipates Halloween, delving into the festival’s origins becomes not just a matter of curiosity but a historical exploration. Halloween, once an indigenous Irish celebration, eventually donned an American cloak. Its transformation offers insights into the past, meant to ignite curiosity and wonder in children.
Among the elderly, the most notable change in Halloween is not the vanishing bonfires or fireworks displays but the strong influence of Americanization. Halloween, originally conceived in Ireland, saw its rudimentary elements exported. However, as the United States assumed ownership of this cultural export, it underwent refinement, becoming a more elaborate and commercialised affair.
Recollections of Halloweens of yesteryear involve door-to-door visits, communal gift-giving, vibrant displays, and bonfires. Traditional Halloween treats featured nuts and apples, endearingly referred to as “Monkey Nuts.” Irish homes were adorned with elaborately decorated windows, adorned in colourful costumes, adorned with pumpkins and Jack-o’-lanterns, and populated by costumed children. A sweet adventure unfolded as kids went door to door, eagerly collecting candies and chocolates, all while pranks and playful tricks awaited those who rang the doorbell.
The aftermath of bonfires was once characterised by empty boxes, mattresses, and discarded car tyres strewn across the area. Today, the scenario has shifted. Bonfires still exist, but the traditional materials have given way to the spectacle of costly fireworks. Halloween has also earned a special place in the hearts of adults, but it’s vital to remember that Halloween is, at its core, a celebration meant for children, and it will forever embody the spirit of wonder and enchantment.
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