It’s official. Ireland – the home of Halloween traditions – has banned Halloween parties and traditional trick-or-treating festivities this year as tackling Covid-19 remains top of government’s priorities. Many other countries around the world are placing similar restrictions for fear that going door-to-door may aid transmission of the virus. But Halloween can go on. Many fun ancient traditions can be practiced and celebrated in the home, bringing joy to children as they have done for over 2,000 years.
The ancient origins of Halloween lie with the Celtic festival of Samhain, particularly as celebrated in Ireland. Samhain took place from October 31 to November 1, about halfway between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice. It was a celebration of the change of seasons – the harvest was coming to an end and winter was approaching. The Celts believed that the veil between the living and the dead was thinnest during this time, and that spirits of the dead, and the supernatural beings known as the Aos sí, could walk on Earth.