The night of Halloween, October 31st is called Oíche Shamhna in Irish and is very much a pagan Irish holiday celebrated through the ages. To find the origin of Halloween, you have to look to the festival of Samhain in Ireland's Celtic past. Samhain had three distinct elements. Firstly, it was an important fire festival, celebrated over the evening of October 31st and throughout the following day. The flames of old fires had to be extinguished and ceremonially re-lit by druids. It was also a festival not unlike the modern New Year's Day in that it carried the notion of casting out the old and moving into the new.
To our pagan ancestors it marked the end of the pastoral cycle – a time when all the crops would have been gathered and placed in storage for the long winter ahead. But it was also, as the last day of the year, the time when the souls of the departed would return to their former homes and when potentially malevolent spirits were released from the Otherworld and were visible to mankind.
Oíche Shamhna is truly a time of celebration and recollection and with that in mind a time for families to gather and enjoy time together.
Stay at the Connemara Coast Hotel, overlooking the Atlantic ocean. Your Family Breakaway includes Full Irish Breakfast for up to 3 occupants. One 3 course dinner* for two adults on one evening of your choice is also included. Children's menus are available at a special price (enquire with reception). Halloween goodie bags for each child on arrival :)