The ancient Irish traditions behind Halloween


Podcast: The night when the living and the dead share the earth. Exploring what lies behind Halloween or Samhain.

‘The hearth is cleaned up, the fire set, and the kitchen tidied up …The door left on the latch and all retire to bed, after the Rosary is said. All this is done, so that the Holy Souls, of our dead friends, let free for the night, may again visit their home on earth, to refresh and rest themselves there, for a short time.’

Director of the Irish National Folklore Collection, Dr Críostóir Mac Cárthaigh (pictured) shares insights into the origins of Halloween or Samhain. Exploring the ancient origins of ‘trick or treat’, wearing disguises and why it’s such an important time in the rural Irish calendar.