Halloween Celebrations in Abbey
Scouts, Cubs and Beavers revive an old tradition
The Scouts, Cubs and Beavers of the 30th Galway Abbey-Duniry Scouts Group, joined forces this week-end to ensure that visitors to the village would be in no doubt about the time of the year, as Halloween celebrations in Abbey were evident throughout the village. It would seem that the ghosts of the past had a hard night as they seemed fairly exhausted when the villagers came alive the following morning!
The celebration we call Halloween goes back 2000 years to the Celtic festival of Samhain. Falling on 31st October and marking the beginning of darker and longer winter nights, the Celts lit bonfires and dressed in disguise to frighten ghosts of the dead that tradition taught returned to earth on that night.
Later, the tradition of commemorating the memory of those who had died was incorporated into the festival of Samhain and when Christianity spread to Celtic lands the celebration of All Saints on 1st November and of All Souls on 2nd November helped to change many of the beliefs and customs of past ages. All Saints day was also known as All-hallows day and the evening before was All-hallows eve from where the name ‘Halloween’ has come.
Like many other customs, Halloween is now a very commercial holiday aimed particularly at families and young children. We congratulate the local branch of Scouts, Cubs and Beavers for revisiting an old Celtic tradition, for keeping this heritage alive and for sharing a sense of fun with all who have enjoyed their creativity.
Congratulations too of course must go to the wonderful leaders without whose enthusiasm and dedication the group would not exist. Well done to everyone involved!
(All above photos courtesy F Holohan)