October Bank Holiday/ Halloween 2011 October Bank Holiday/ Halloween Halloween is celebrated on the night of the 31st October. Halloween originates from the pagan festival, Samhain, Lord of the Dead, which was celebrated among the Celts of Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Brittany on the 31st October. The Celts believed that the 1st November was the start of the new year and the coming of winter and souls from the dead, ghosts, goblins and witches would return to the mortal realm to mix with the living on the eve of the new year, and so for this reason, people would wear masks, costumes and light bonfires to scare away the immortal evil spirits. Many people have carried through this tradition to celebrate the festival of Samhain. On Halloween night in the United Kingdom and in Ireland, many people dress up in costumes such as skeletons, devils, witches, zombies or even cartoon characters – the list is endless. Fireworks displays are held in local towns and bonfires are lit. Some children go trick-or-treating which involves knocking on their neighbour’s doors to gather fruits, sweets and nuts. In Scotland, trick-or-treating is slightly different. Children dress up and knock on their neighbour’s door to offer entertainment instead of to ask for treats, and it is called ‘guising.’ People usually decorate their houses with pumpkins which have a scary faced carved out and a candle. Apple tarts with hidden coins are made at Halloween and many people eat nuts and toffee apples. Other traditional things to do at Halloween are watch horror films and tell ghost stories. This tradition was carried to North America in the 19th century by Irish and Scottish immigrants. October Bank Holiday/ Halloween Calendar Halloween 2014 : 27 October Halloween 2015 : 26 October Halloween 2016 : 31 October Halloween 2017 : 30 October Halloween 2018 : 29 October Check flights to Dublin and celebrate Halloween in style with the Irish!