Halloween Traditions in Ireland – Especially for our friends in Room 5, Melville Intermediate School, Hamilton, Waikato, New Zealand.

We got this message from our good friends

in Melville Intermediate School, Hamilton, New Zealand.

Message from Hamilton 1

This is our reply:


Hi there,

Most certainly we celebrate Halloween:D

In many ways the more recent additions to our traditions are influenced by the USA,

for example, as you say in your message, dressing up in costumes and going ‘trick or treating’.

Waning Gibbous Moon
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Biscuit in Pursuit via Compfight

However a celebration at this time of year

goes way back into the ‘mists of time’.

Here in the Northern Hemisphere

we needed something to cheer us up

as the cold, dark nights arrive,

so the Celts marked the end of Summer

and the start of the Winter months, 

with a celebration called Samhain; ‘All Souls’.

Playing With Fire
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: cobalt123 via Compfight

It was said that the souls of those who had passed

into the next world came to visit at this time. 

The celebration marked the end of Summer

and the start of the Winter months.

The time of the Celts in Ireland was 2000BC – 400AD.


Here are some Irish Halloween Traditions:

Traditionally for dinner there was ‘Colcannon’;

a plate of mashed potato, cabbage and onion.

Pennies were wrapped up in baking paper

and placed in the mash for children to find and keep!

Slow-Cooker Corned Beef & Cabbage with Colcannon: Colcannon with Butter
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: I Believe I Can Fry via Compfight

The traditional Halloween cake is barmbrack which is a fruit cake.

Once again you would have to be careful eating this

or you would break your teeth

because there were ‘tokens’ hidden in it.


If you got the rag then the next year would be a poor one.

If you got the coin then you could look forward to a year of riches.

Finding the ring was said to predict an engagement.

Irish fruit brack
Photo Credit: sylvar via Compfight

If you wanted to find out who your future partner might be

you were advised to peel an apple in one go.

The single apple peel was then dropped on the floor

to show the initials of this mystery person.

Jack O'Lanterns
Photo Credit: Joe Shlabotnik via Compfight

The tradition of Jack O’Lanterns travelled from Ireland to the USA.

But originally the Irish carved out turnips.

When the Irish emigrated to America there was not a great supply of turnips

so pumpkins were used instead. Pumpkins are easier to carve than turnips too!


Though the tradition of wearing costumes and ‘trick or treating’

seems to have been imported from the USA,

a tradition of wearing disguise also dates back to Celtic times.

By disguising themselves people superstitiously believed

that the souls who were visiting would leave them alone.


Halloween Games include ‘Snap Apple’.

An apple is suspended from a string and children are blindfolded.

The first child to get a decent bite of the apple gets to keep their prize.

A variation of this game involves hanging a bar of soap with the apple.

The risk was then that one would get a mouthful of soap instead of apple.

‘Bobbing for Apples’ can be played by placing apples in a basin of water

and trying to get a grip on the fruit!

halloween party 030
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Ted via Compfight

The Halloween bonfire is another tradition

and a more modern addition is the use of fireworks,

though they are illegal in Ireland.

It is important to be safe on Halloween.

halloween's harvest

Creative Commons License Photo Credit: pipnstuff via Compfight


It may well be that Halloween is a Celtic Tradition from Europe

that travelled with the emigrants to the USA.

In the ‘New World’ these traditions took on a new lease of life

and were re-exported back to Ireland

repackaged perhaps in a more commercial way.


Thanking you for your continuing comments and interest in our blog

all the way from New Zealand 🙂


We wonder does New Zealand have a Halloween Tradition?


With every good wish …

‘If Only The Best Birds Sang’.


UPDATE1: If you click on the ‘KEEP READING’ button below, you can see Mr. Webb’s reply 🙂

UPDATE2: Thank you to Mr Webb who put a link about our blog

on Room 5 Melville’s page HERE.

Halloween in Ireland

2nd Class Room 6 received an e-mail from Audioboo

Recently 2nd Class, Room 6 made a podcast,

of the class singing this melodic song

by Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson!



UPDATE: 27th December 2012.

This morning Teacher received an e-mail from Audioboo

which she thought would interest 2nd class, Room 6


Hi  Merrybeau,



Your boo http://audioboo.fm/boos/1126073-2nd-class-room-6-sings-winter-song 

has had 1,000 listens and probably more by the time you read this. 


That makes us, and hopefully you, very happy.



The Audioboo team”


Lovely work Isabella!

Best Wishes to all our visitors

to our visitors from

 United States (US)854

 United Kingdom (GB)470

 India (IN)211

 Philippines (PH)131

 Canada (CA)130

 Australia (AU)110

 France (FR)62

 Singapore (SG)35

 Pakistan (PK)30

 New Zealand (NZ)29

 Spain (ES)28

 United Arab Emirates (AE)25

 Malaysia (MY)22

 Indonesia (ID)19

 Russian Federation (RU)19

 Belgium (BE)18

 Germany (DE)17

 South Africa (ZA)16

 Italy (IT)14

 Netherlands (NL)14

 Saudi Arabia (SA)13

 Poland (PL)13

 Egypt (EG)12

 China (CN)11

 Hong Kong (HK)11

 Brazil (BR)11

 Europe (EU)11

 Turkey (TR)10

 Thailand (TH)10 

 Greece (GR)9

 Qatar (QA)8  Trinidad and Tobago (TT)8  Portugal (PT)8

 Taiwan (TW)7  Bangladesh (BD)7

 Mexico (MX)6  Hungary (HU)6

 Korea, Republic of (KR)5  Kuwait (KW)5  Romania (RO)5  Oman (OM)5  Kenya (KE)5

 Jamaica (JM)4  Slovenia (SI)4  Ukraine (UA)4  Sri Lanka (LK)4  Nepal (NP)4

 Jordan (JO)3  Israel (IL)3  Ethiopia (ET)3  Mauritius (MU)3  Sweden (SE)3  Japan (JP)3  Bhutan (BT)3  Colombia (CO)3  Austria (AT)3  Slovakia (SK)3

 Nigeria (NG)2  Seychelles (SC)2  Peru (PE)2  Czech Republic (CZ)2  Argentina (AR)2  Belarus (BY)2  Norway (NO)2  Zimbabwe (ZW)2  Switzerland (CH)2  Bulgaria (BG)2  Bosnia and Herzegovina (BA)2  American Samoa (AS)2  Armenia (AM)2  Uganda (UG)2  Puerto Rico (PR)2  Belize (BZ)2  Nicaragua (NI)2  Iran, Islamic Republic of (IR)2  Asia/Pacific Region (AP)2  Yemen (YE)2  Cyprus (CY)2

 Paraguay (PY)1  Lesotho (LS)1  Botswana (BW)1  Chile (CL)1  Antigua and Barbuda (AG)1  Guernsey (GG)1  Dominican Republic (DO)1  Estonia (EE)1  Finland (FI)1  Latvia (LV)1  Virgin Islands, U.S. (VI)1  Northern Mariana Islands (MP)1  Denmark (DK)1  Uruguay (UY)1  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (VC)1  Azerbaijan (AZ)1  Montenegro (ME)1  Netherlands (N)1  Grenada (GD)1  Venezuela (VE)1  Lebanon (LB)1  Palestinian Territory (PS)1  Angola (AO)1  Bahamas (BS)1  Malawi (MW)1  Guatemala (GT)1  Barbados (BB)1  Croatia (HR)1  Mali (ML)1  Cambodia (KH)1  Myanmar (MM)1


and Ireland (IE) of course: 3,583 visits.

Double click on any of the place names

to see where they are in the world

using Answertips.com


Information from  Clustermap for this blog


As we say here in Ireland ….

Nollaig Shona Daoibh Go Léir

If you would like to comment,

please double click

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Junior Art Gallery Competition

Children from 2nd Class Room 6 entered this competition:

Junior Art Gallery’s ‘Favourite Christmas Food’ Art Competition

from Junior Art Gallery

We received a very nice email

and some entries were on Twitter.
Favourite Christmas Food – Some entries

Click on this link …

to see the thirteen entries from 2nd class Room 6

in Junior Art Gallery’s

‘Favourite Food Competition’

on display in ‘The Happy Pear’.

Patrons are invited to vote for their favourite.

I love them all 😉


UPDATE: Happy News for Fiona and Mark

who received their prizes today in school.

Thank you to Junior Art Gallery for this opportunity and your kindness.

Fiona’s and Mark’s pictures are on this link: Junior Art Gallery

Look! We are on the Parish Website

Saying Thanks

The children’s contributions to the parish website was updated

with a podcast of thank you prayers.

Quite sensibly Grannies, Grandads and chocolate all get a mention 🙂

Well done 2nd Class Room 6, you sound great on the Parish Website.

Click on the link below to hear the class singing ‘Away in a Manger’.

Greetings from 2nd Class, Room 6 this Christmas

First Communion In Our Parish… And Around The World

We are preparing for our First Holy Communion in May.

Fiona’s Dad, Dale, very kindly created a slide show for us. It shows children from all over the world celebrating their First Communion:

In ways these children are the same as us and in ways they are different, but we are all on the same ‘faith journey’.

Remember our next ‘Do It In Memory of Me’ Mass is on Sunday 28th October 2012.

In other news 2nd Class Room 6 has become just a little bit famous:

Share the experience of our faith journey on the Parish Website

We will be making more contributions to this website as our ‘faith journey’ progresses.

There is lots of information about the ‘Do It In Memory of Me’ Programme on the parish website also.
This includes the dates of the masses.

‘Do This In Memory of Me’ Programme

Signs of Autumn Twitter Project

We are taking part in a collaborative project about

the signs of Autumn

on Twitter

during this first week of October.

Get your own Poll!

We are tweeting photos and comments

about signs of Autumn that we see #anfomhar.

You can see more details about this project

on the following link:
All about the Signs of Autumn Twitter Project on Seomra Ranga.com

Teacher looks forward to this great opportunity to introduce the class to the uses of Twitter.

Click here for the link.

As always I am very conscious of online safety.

No photographs of the children will be used

and I will only use the children’s first names.

This is the project so far, at the half way point:


Can you see the Autumn photo you took today? (PhotoPeach)

Please supervise your child when they are online.
Create your own Animation

Our Town: Congratulations to Mrs.Mooney’s Sweetshop

Toward the end of June the children in Room 6 answered an invitation

issued by The Irish Times newspaper to nominate their favourite shop.

The children nominated Mrs. Mooney’s Sweetshop.

24 Reasons that Mrs.Mooney’s Shop is Special

Today the Irish Times said that they received THOUSANDS of nominations.

But guess what ?

Mrs. Mooney’s Sweetshop is on their shortlist of the 50 Best Shops in Ireland 🙂

Well done boys and girls and many congratulations to Mrs. Mooney.

Mrs. Mooney’s Magical Sweetshop – Greystones

This review of Mrs. Mooney’s shop was sent in
on behalf of the children in 2nd class, Room 6.

Boys and girls you are famous!
Some of your letter about Mrs. Mooney’s Magical Sweetshop
was printed in today’s Irish Times.
Well done 😀

24 Reasons that Mrs. Mooney’s shop is special!

1.“My favourite thing about Mrs. Mooney’s Shop is ‘Traffic Light Lollipops.’” (Noah)

2.“My favourite thing about Mrs. Mooney’s Shop is you get a lot of sweets

for your money”. (Alexandra)

3. “Mrs. Mooney’s have the best sweets ever!” (Cian)

4. “My favourite thing about Mrs. Mooney’s Shop is buying lots of sweets like candy floss, brain lickers, stickies, bon bons, pop rock, chewy strawberry sweets.” (Hollie)

6.“My favourite thing about Mrs. Mooney’s Shop is that she remembers every ones’ names and that she has nice sweets” (Sinead)

7. “My favourite thing about Mrs. Mooney’s Shop is she is so kind and generous” (Nadine)

8. “Mrs. Mooney’s shop is special because Mrs. Mooney is nice and works hard. My favourite thing about Mrs. Mooney’s Shop is the sour sweets”(Taya)

9. “My favourite thing about Mrs. Mooney’s Shop is that you can buy apple bon bons. Mrs. Mooney’s shop is special because Mrs. Mooney is so kind and friendly.” (Chloe)

10. “Mrs. Mooney’s shop is special because I love the sweets there and Mrs. Mooney works hard.”(Stacey)

11. “Mrs. Mooney’s shop is special because she is so nice to all her customers and she has a big selection.”(Laura)

12. “Mrs. Mooney’s shop is special because you can get a big bag of ‘Toxic Waste’ (Don’t worry it’s not real!) for one euro” (Ryan)

13. “My favourite thing about Mrs. Mooney’s Shop is ‘Alien Spray’” (Max)

14. “Mrs. Mooney’s shop is special because she does a very good job (Jessica)

15. “My favourite thing about Mrs. Mooney’s Shop is she is so nice and

everything is value for money” (Kate)

16. “My favourite thing about Mrs. Mooney’s Shop is she’s cheap”. (Conor)

17. “Mrs. Mooney’s shop is special because Mrs. Mooney is so kind. My favourite thing about Mrs. Mooney’s Shop is that there is dog food there too. My dog Poppy loves it as much as I love the sweets there” (Ríona)

18. “My favourite thing about Mrs. Mooney’s Shop is the candy floss and the bon bons and especially the stickies” (Paris)

19. “My favourite thing about Mrs. Mooney’s shop is blue bon bones, candy floss and stickies and brain lickers, lollipops and pink bon bons”. (Sophie)

20. “My favourite thing about Mrs. Mooney’s shop is everything in Mrs. Mooney’s but my most favourite thing is the stickies and candyfloss” (Billie)

21. “My favourite thing about Mrs. Mooney is candyfloss”, from Luke.

22. “Mrs. Mooney’s shop is very special because it is very nice. It is very low on price compared to Auntie Nellie’s sweet shop and much nicer than Auntie Nellies. My favourite sweet shop is Mrs. Mooney’s. I love and adore the shop because it is cheap and they are really nice”. (Sarah)

23. “Mrs. Mooney’s shop is special because she has my favourite sweets. My favourite thing about Mrs. Mooney’s shop is stickies and jelly snakes and jelly stats and alien spray and toxic waste and golf balls.” (not real… You can eat them!) (Micaela)

24. “Mrs. Mooney’s shop is special because they have nice sweets. My favoutite thing about Mrs. Mooney’s shop is that the lady is so kind.” (Vagif)

We have made a slide show of this work also on Photopeach

24 Reasons that Mrs.Mooney’s Shop is Special



Our Favourite Shop

We LOVE Mrs. Mooney’s Shop. We go to school next door.

Round the corner is the local Secondary School. Even though they are big kids there, they like to shop there too.

First we love Mrs. Mooney. She is always smiling and has a twinkle in her eye. Mrs. Mooney knows all our names. She even knows our parents’ names from when they were little. Her own name is Bridie Mooney. Mrs. Mooney is 82 years old. She starts work every morning just a little after eight. She has been running the shop for nearly 60 years.

We also love the sweets Mrs. Mooney sells. We are very lucky to go to school beside such a special sweet shop. Fridays is a busy day for Mrs. Mooney when we go to buy a special treat for the end of the week.

There are the old fashioned sweets that our Mums and Dads used like to eat like apple bon bons, clove cubes and cola cubes, cough drops, bull eyes, jelly babies, Sherbet Dib Dabs and Jaw Breaker gobstoppers.

Mrs. Mooney shop has the look of a traditional old fashioned shop. The shop itself is famous because it starred in a TV advert for cheese

Mrs Mooney is famous in Our Town. She has been a Person of the Year.

Though Mrs. Mooney’s shop is old fashioned, it is modern is other ways. Mrs. Mooney keeps up with new sweets and playground crazes. We love her Traffic Light Lollipops and Marshmallow Men.

She sells Pop Rock that pops in your mouth and cool pops that turn your mouth blue. There is Candy Floss and Toxic Waste, both sold in tubs; one is very sweet and the other is very sour.

She also has a Facebook page!

Mrs. Mooney gives good value for money. She has one euro bags and two euro bags and we can pick and mix. Mrs. Mooney is patient with us while we choose.

The grown ups buy their newspapers there and she knows all their names too.

Mrs. Mooney is loved by her customers and we think this is the secret of her success.

2nd Class, Room 6

You can read more about Mrs. Mooney’s shop HERE

and HERE