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The Birthplace of Halloween
The Real Halloween Town County Meath, Ireland, Where Halloween Began
Today, Meath celebrates Oct. 31 with a blend of spooky thrills and traditional Samhain practices. The Spirits of Meath Halloween Festival starts with the lighting of the first torch fire of Samhain in Athboy, which kicks off a month of fun activities. If you like your Halloween extra spooky, the scream park, Farmaphobia, is waiting for you. And if you’re not a fan of screaming your head off, you can check out the Halloween- themed Spookling Afternoon Tea for fresh-baked treats and spirited conversation. The motto of this all-ages festival is “Fun by Day; Frights by Night,” meaning all the really scary ghosts wait until after sunset to come out. There are plenty of ways to celebrate Halloween, from carving jack-o’-lanterns and eating chocolate to running for your life through a haunted corn maze. And in County Meath, you can celebrate Halloween in every possible way. For more info, visit www.Discoverboynevalley.ie/whats-on/spirits-meath- halloween-festival-2018.
Fans of Halloween don’t need to look far to find somewhere to celebrate their favorite holiday. There are festive parties all over the world, from New Orleans to London, but if you really want to embrace the spirit of Halloween, there’s no better destination than the birthplace of the holiday: County Meath, Ireland. Every year in Boyne Valley, the residents of County Meath throw a month-long Halloween celebration. The Spirits of Meath Halloween Festival attracts thousands of guests from all over the world, and while this festival has only been celebrated since 2009, many of the traditions observed here date back to ancient times. The ancient Irish weren’t trick-or-treating or visiting haunted houses on Oct. 31, but they were celebrating the pagan holiday Samhain. Over 3,000 years ago, this Celtic festival was born in Meath and marked the end of the harvest. Samhain was celebrated with bonfires, offerings to fairies, and other rituals meant to keep evil spirits away. Many of these customs carried through the centuries and inspired Halloween traditions that are still practiced today.
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