Halloween is very different these days to when I used to visit my nan in Galway in the 1970’s. There was never any trick or treating (as we know it now) although I do remember ‘A penny for the pooka’ (pooka meaning goblin or spirit). The children used to go door to door and ask for ‘A penny for the pooka’. If they didn’t get any money they just went to the next house.
I used to love the barm brack though. It was a fruit bread with little tokens in it. The tokens were a pea, stick, rag, coin and ring. Everyone wanted the coin or the ring. The coin meant you would be rich, the ring that you would get married, the stick that you would be a fighter, the rag you would be poor and the pea you would never marry. They still sell Halloween bracks here these days but they only have a ring in them now.
The games used to involve hanging apples from the ceiling and trying to take a bit from them and also putting apples in a bucket of water and trying to catch them with only your mouth….which is fine until some bright spark decides to spit in it! We also used to hide chocolate in a bowl of flour and when your face was still wet from the apple bobbing you tried to get the chocolate (and got covered in flour).
Joe from Sligo Heritage has done a great page called: An Irish Halloween, the way it was. It’s a great read.
I hope you all get lots of treats today and not too many tricks 😉