Halloween in Ireland

Halloween in Ireland originated in the ancient Celtic world as a pagan festival known as Samhain and has since become a day that is celebrated worldwide.

Halloween in Ireland is still a significant holiday especially due to the fact that the last Monday in October is designated as a public holiday. Below we look at some of the popular Halloween traditions in Ireland from both past and modern times.

Barmbrack        

Barmbrack - Halloween in Ireland
Barmbrack

Barmbrack is a traditional Irish Halloween custom where yeasted sweet bread is prepared with sultanas and raisins. Barmbrack contained various items that had been baked into the brack and these carried predictions for the future year. Finding a pea in your piece of barmbrack meant you would never marry, a stick predicted that you would have an unhappy marriage (a stick to beat your partner with!), a piece of cloth often referred to as a ‘rag’ meant you would be poor, a small coin for wealth and a ring meant you would be married before the next Halloween. Even today, no Halloween in Ireland is complete without having a few slices of Barmbrack!

Colcannon

Colcannon - Halloween in Ireland
Colcannon

Next on our list is Colcannon, a traditional Irish potato and cabbage dish that is often eaten at Haloween in Ireland.  The dish gets its name from the Irish word cal ceannan, which when translated means white headed cabbage. The dish usually includes kale, green cabbage, bacon and floury mashed potatoes. Similar to the barmbrack, items were placed into the Colcannon which were used to give predictions for the coming year.

Samhain Bonfire

The Halloween bonfire which we have come accustomed to in modern day celebrations was in fact the centre of the Samhain festival. Legend goes that each village would have a bonfire where people would sacrifice crops and animals in return for protection for themselves for the coming winter. Before the main bonfire could be lit all fires around the village had to be quenched. Only after the main bonfire had been extinguished could the villager’s then re light their own fires.

 Jack O Lantern

Jack O Lantern - Halloween in Ireland
Jack O Lantern

An ancient Samhain tradition that can still be seen during Halloween today is the Jack O Lantern. Folklore has it that hundreds of years ago an Irishman called Jack conned the Devil into buying him a drink for exchanging his soul. However when Jack finished the drink he proceeded to cover himself in crosses meaning the devil was unable to get his soul. When Jack died he was refused entry to heaven for his behaviour. He then encountered the devil who refused him entry to hell but grudgingly giving him an ember so he could see as his walked throughout the night. Every Halloween since, people carved out turnips and placed a candle in them to ward off the wandering Jack. It was from this that the Jack O’Lantern came into existence. Although in Ireland we no longer carve out turnips it is thought that this is where the practice of carving pumpkins originally came from.

Haunted Houses

Loftus Hall - Halloween in Ireland
Loftus Hall

One of the more modern Halloween traditions in Ireland is visiting haunted houses & castles over the Halloween period. Events are held around Ireland where people gather in supposedly haunted houses & castles in the hope of encountering some spirits! Some of the most famous spooky attractions around Ireland where these events take place include Loftus Hall, Charleville Castle and Charles Fort, Kinsale.

Read more about some of Ireland’s most spooky attractions here

Get in Touch-

If you are interested in experiencing Halloween in Ireland contact us today for a competitive quotation. One of our experienced travel advisors will be happy to answer any queries that you may have.

USA & Canada 1877 298 7205

UK FreeFone 0800 096 9438

International +353 69 77686

www.irishtourism.com

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Love Golf? Best Golf Courses in Ireland

This month’s blog focuses on what Ireland has to offer to the golfing world! Boasting some of the best links courses that can be found, Ireland is a must visit for any golf fan. While we have included seven  of the best golf courses in Ireland on our list, there are dozens of other excellent courses located right throughout Ireland for you to play during your trip.

Here at Irish Tourism we offer a wide variety of golf tours suitable for players for all abilities that are customised to what you want to fit in during your time in Ireland.

Now for the list!

Ballybunion (Old Course)

Ballybunion - Love Golf? Ireland has some amazing golf courses
Ballybunion Golf Course, Kerry

Considered by many to be one of the finest courses around, every single facet of your game is challenged throughout these 18 demanding holes. Founded in 1893, the course has attracted legendary players throughout the years including Tom Watson, Tiger Woods and former U.S president Bill Clinton. In 2005 Golf Digest ranked Ballybunion as the seventh best course in the world outside the United States further increasing Ballybunion’s fame.

Royal Portrush

Royal Portrush - Love Golf? Ireland has some amazing golf courses
Royal Portrush, County Antrim

This prestigious club, situated on the north coast of County Antrim is home two links courses, Dunluce (championship course) and The Valley Links. The Dunluce course hosted the Irish Open in 2012 and is due to host the Open Championship in 2019. Two famous faces to keep an eye out for are major winners Darren Clarke who resides in Portrush & Graeme McDowell who is a member.

Portmarnock

Portmarnock - Love Golf? Ireland has some amazing golf courses
Portmarnock Golf Club, County Dublin

Located just half an hour’s drive from Dublin City Centre and fifteen minutes from Dublin Airport, it is the perfect place to start/end your trip to Ireland. Surrounded on three sides by water and with no two successive holes playing in the same direction Portmarnock will require you to use all of the tricks that you have in your locker!

Lahinch

Lahinch - Love Golf? Ireland has some amazing golf courses
Lahinch Golf Club, County Clare

Set right on the Atlantic Coastline, this is the perfect place to tee up if you are staying in Doolin or in the Western region. The course is often referred to as the “St Andrews of Ireland” as it was originally designed by Old Tom Morris. In the 1920’s the course was redesigned by Alister MacKenzie who later would co-design Augusta National. The sublime work of these prestigious course designers has defined Lahinch as one of the best golf courses in Ireland.

The European Club

European Club - Love Golf? Ireland has some amazing golf courses
European Club, County Wicklow

Situated just an hours drive south of Dublin in County Wicklow, the European club is one of the most famed courses on Ireland’s east coast. Perhaps one of the more unconventional links in Ireland, certain features give an added charm to the course such as the two extra par 3’s to having the longest green in the world (127 yards from back to front).

Old Head of Kinsale

Old Head of Kinsale - Love Golf? Ireland has some amazing golf courses
Old Head of Kinsale, County Cork

Located on the south coast of Ireland in County Cork, the old Head of Kinsale is a spectacular course that is at the mercy of the Atlantic Ocean. Cliffs over 300 metres high run off the edge of fairways providing you with breath taking views however it also means that wayward shots must be kept to a minimum!

Ballyliffin

Ballyliffin - Love Golf? Ireland has some amazing golf courses
Ballyliffin, County Donegal

Last but certainly not least we come to Ballyliffin. Located at the Northern tip of Donegal, the course is due to host the Irish Open in 2018. Ballyliffin has been described as one of the best kept secrets in Irish golf. Recent work completed by Nick Faldo has received much acclaim and has served to further enhance the reputation of the links.

 

Get in Touch-

If you are interested in playing some of the best golf courses in Ireland contact us today on the below numbers or through our enquiry form. One of our experienced travel advisors will be happy to answer any queries that you may have.

USA & Canada 1877 298 7205

UK FreeFone 0800 096 9438

International +353 69 77686

http://www.irishtourism.com/golf-tours-of-ireland

 

 

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