This blog post was updated on April 20, 2020.
While commonly celebrated with plenty of candy, costumes and parties in the United States, Halloween is actually a world holiday. One of the oldest celebrations in the world, the spooky holiday boasts foundations in Roman, Celtic and European folk traditions. While most traditions, festivals and customs for the holiday seem to hail from the United States, which has greatly popularized Halloween, Ireland rivals America with large Halloween celebrations leading up to and on the holiday.
Ireland is said to be the actual birthplace of Halloween
with roots in County Meath. Halloween in its oldest form in the country dates back to a Celtic festival that began some 2,000 years ago. Celebrated with bonfires, games, traditional food, tricks and fortunetelling, Ireland pulls out the stops for the holiday. If you are visiting the country around this spooky time of year, you might hear some words that aren’t all too familiar despite English being one of Ireland’s main languages. To get back to Halloween’s roots, here are 10 common words you’ll hear in Ireland around Halloween in the Irish language.
Halloween: Oíche Shamhna
Trick or treat: Cleas nó coir