Let’s start with the most notable Irish Halloween Traditions:
Colcannon: boiled potato, Kale and Onions.
We wrap coins in baking paper and hide them inside the potato. The one who finds them may keep it, it means that the year is going to bring success and happiness.
The Barnbrack Cake, also known as fruit bread.
Everyone at the table must have a slice. Here we also have a tradition to place a coin, a ring and a piece of rag in the cake. The rag brings nothing good; coin means success and ring will bring you continued happiness!
Let’s find an Ivy leaf:
This is another interesting tradition! We place ivy leaves into cups of water (1 in a cup), leave them overnight and if in the morning your personal Ivy leaf has no spots on it and it looks as fresh as yesterday, you will be healthy for the next 12 months up until Halloween.
Carve that Pumpkin:
“Carving Pumpkins dates back to the eighteenth century and to an Irish blacksmith named Jack who colluded with the Devil and was denied entry to Heaven. He was condemned to wander the earth but asked the Devil for some light. He was given a burning coal ember which he placed inside a turnip that he had gouged out.
Thus, the tradition of Jack O’Lanterns was born – the bearer being the wandering blacksmith – a damned soul. Villagers in Ireland hoped that the lantern in their window would keep the wanderer away. When the Irish emigrated in their millions to America there was not a great supply of turnips so pumpkins were used instead.”
Have you got a costume for your child?
Every single Halloween we let our little ones dress up in spooky costumes of witches, goblins, ghosts and all sorts of other creatures and let them off for a Trick or Treat.
Make sure you have it all ready for the Night! Dentists suggest to give toothpaste and toothbrushes away instead of sweets, but would kids be happy with that?
Have a bite:
We play all sorts of different Halloween games, and one of the most famous one is Snap Apple, when an Apple is suspended from a string or placed in a basin with water and the first one who gets a decent bite – wins!
Who’s your hubby?
To make sure girls find their husband in the nearest future, they take an apple each and have to peel it one go. If they succeed, the peel can be dropped on the floor.
Master class: Carve that Pumpkin! from M. Stewart
1.Cut a Hole in the Pumpkin
The first step is hollowing out the pumpkin. Use a keyhole saw to cut the hole. If you’ll be using a candle for illumination, you can cut the hole in the pumpkin’s top (always put the candle in a high-sided glass, and never leave unattended). For electric lights, make the hole in the bottom or side so you can hide the cord.
2.Scoop Out the Flesh
Scoop out flesh, pulp, and seeds. Here you can use either special instruments, such as a plaster scraper or a fleshing tool, or simply take a spoon.
3. Transfer Your Design
Now it’s time to transfer your selected designs. Affix the template to the pumpkin, and trace the design by poking holes with a sharp awl, needle tool, or T-pin.
4. Carve the Features
Remove the template and carve along the pattern with a miniature saw or linoleum carving tool. You can also take a very sharp knife. If you want to make holes in the pumpkin for eyes, use a drill equipped with a 1/2-inch or 3/4-inch spade bit.
You can also get creative with patterns and designs using these pumpkin-carving tools.
If desired, place candles, small flashlights, or battery-operated light sources inside your pumpkin.
Tip: Prevent exposed areas of the pumpkin’s flesh from turning brown by applying a film of Vaseline.
5. How to Light a Pumpkin
To illuminate a carved pumpkin, string lights are preferable to candles for most designs: Wrap a strand of 20 lights around a glass jar, and secure wires with tape. Cut a hole in the hollowed-out pumpkin for the cord, and place jar inside. Unplug lights before leaving the house or going to sleep. If using a candle, place it in a glass or votive holder, and cut a hole in the back of the pumpkin for ventilation (or leave the top off). Battery-operated candles are another good alternative.
Join Us for Halloween 2014
We are all ready and have some nice ideas how to spend this Spooky day! Come and enjoy Halloween 2014 at Maguires on the Hill of Tara and let the fun begin October, 27th!